Showing posts with label Lyric Opera promo. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Lyric Opera promo. Show all posts

Monday, January 28, 2019

REVIEW: La Boheme at Lyric Opera Now Playing Through January 31st, 2019

ChiIL Live Shows on our radar
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Through January 31st, 2019

Guest Review
by catherine hellmann

“It is better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all.”-- Rodolfo in “La Boheme.” Actually, those words were written by Alfred Lord Tennyson. But our hero, Rodolfo could have easily stated them as well.  

You know how when you read a particular novel and it speaks to you in the manner of your current frame of mind? If you need hope, perhaps the book provides inspiration; if you are feeling nostalgic from a setback, the same book at a different time can seem poignant. I love how opera can stir up similar reactions in life’s journey. So is my attachment to the beautiful “La Boheme” by Puccini.

The last time I saw a production of Lyric’s “La Boheme,” I was struck by the overall sadness of the piece, the poverty, the struggles of the artists, Mimi’s chronic cough and eventual death. Downer, dude. Gorgeous music, of course, but oh so melancholy. (Did I mention I just had a miscarriage? Yeah, I was in a tough place…) Fast forward twenty years, and the healthy baby boy I eventually went on to have is now a Sophomore in college, and life is good. Hmmm...I did not realize how utterly charming and humorous  Act I of “La Boheme” could be! Opera as litmus test! No wonder this is the opera that Nicholas Cage takes Cher to in Moonstruck. The story and score are swoon-worthy.

Lyric Opera has assembled a marvelous international cast for its current “La Boheme.” Italian Maria Agresta as Mimi and American Michael Fabiano as Rodolfo are adorable flirting together and wowed us with their vocal theatrics this past fall at Millennium Park. Musetta is performed with relish for the role by Australian soprano Danielle De Niese; her Musetta is feisty, sexy, funny, and ultimately very empathetic with a compassionate heart. Her seduction aria to make Marcello jealous places her on a table in a restaurant while she removes her panties to place on his head, something we don’t see often in opera! Zachary Nelson as her on-and-off-again lover Marcello is her match.    


The sets and costumes are wonderful, especially the market scene with the crowds, including the Chicago Children’s Choir, out bustling, shopping for toys, perfumes, and corsets. I love the snow constantly falling as a reminder of how pretty snow can be when it is not dirty slush on the streets of Chicago!

And oh, that lovely music! Venezuelan conductor Domingo Hindoyan states that the first time he heard the entire score, “I was in love with every bar.” It is easy to see why. As my guy, who was seeing his first opera, observed,”It is a beautiful tragedy. Rodolfo’s heart is broken, but he has peace.” Rather than running away by breaking up with an obviously ailing Mimi, Rodolfo confesses his deep love for her and is with her to her last breath.

My favorite line in the libretto sums it all up: “You are the dream I’d like to last a lifetime.”

Catherine Hellmann is a teacher, writer, and theater junkie. She has tried to inspire urban and rural middle schoolers for over twenty years. A mother of three, she is thrilled to once again claim Chicago as home.  

Puccini's story of love, loss and the artistic world of 19th-century Paris comes to vibrant life in this stunning production at Lyric Opera of Chicago. A huge hit when it premiered it in 1896, the opera's popularity and power hasn't dimmed since. Featuring strikingly designed sets and costumes, not to mention an exciting cast of singers, including Maria Agresta, Michael Fabiano, Danielle de Niese, Zachary Nelson and more, La bohème finds the poor poet Rodolfo and the painter Marcello drawn into a tangle of love and jealousy after the frail Mimi knocks on their door. These youthful dreamers navigate the complicated maze of romance amid the colorful Bohemian enclaves of the city and its snowy streets, until they realize they can no longer hide from the world's harsh realities.

Click here for Lyric Opera's site, for more information and ticket sales

Thursday, May 5, 2016

REVIEW: Lyric Opera's The King and I Review and 50% Off Select Tickets

Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:

Disclosure: We're elated to partner up with Lyric Opera and share this stellar 50% off discount with our readers. We have been compensated with tickets in exchange for promoting this offer. As always, all opinions are our own.

Here at ChiIL Mama and ChiIL Live Shows, we adore the Lyric Opera's The King and I. This production is truly a treat for the eyes and ears. We're thrilled that the children in the cast are all from Chicago. And Kate Baldwin and Paolo Montalban's star power is well deserved. 

It's a tough task to take on an iconic classic that's a revered movie as well as a long time stage favorite. People get attached to particular casting choices and wardrobe pieces and have a tough time envisioning something fresh and new. Lyric Opera does a fantastic job reinventing rather than reproducing this favorite. The vocals, acting, sets, and costumes combine to create an opulently original production. This is an excellent choice for families with multigenerational appeal. Even my 15 year old son, a notoriously tough demographic for operas and musicals, enjoyed it! Do note, the run time is a bit over 3 hours, so keep that in mind if you're thinking of bringing elementary age children. Highly recommended. 

It was our great pleasure to catch opening night and to also partner up with Lyric Opera and give away a pair of tickets to one of our lucky readers. Out of 620 entries, congratulations again to Yael Hoffman, our big ticket pair winner. Still, all our readers are winners, so we're happy to offer you an incredible deal on weekday seats. 

ChiIL Live Shows Readers Save 50% Off Select Shows:

“Whistle a Happy Tune” with HALF OFF tickets to Lyric Opera’s critically acclaimed production of The King and I! Use code “SIAMBLOG” for 50% off Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday performances. Offer is subject to availability and not valid on previously purchased tickets or in combination with any other offer. Please see for full offer details. Code expires 5/19/2016. Click HERE for more information on The King and I.

Disclosure: Once again, we're elated to partner up with Lyric Opera and share this stellar discount with our readers. We have been compensated with tickets in exchange for promoting this offer. As always, all opinions are our own.

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