Millennium Park Garage plays host to the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Michigan Opera Theatre’s joint production of Twilight: Gods
From streaming concerts to virtual performances, Chicago’s cultural institutions have become adept at bringing the arts to audiences during the pandemic. The latest stroke of genius? The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s (lyricopera.org) Twilight: Gods, a live performance-based rendition of the final opera in Richard Wagner’s epic Ring cycle. Directed by Yuval Sharon, the production takes a unique turn as patrons enjoy the spectacle from the safety of their cars as they drive through Millennium Park Garage. Says Lyric General Director, President and CEO Anthony Freud: “We are thrilled to be working with director and ‘opera disruptor’ Yuval Sharon, who conceived and is directing Twilight: Gods, which is a collaboration with Michigan Opera Theatre.”
Also on the program, Chicago artist, poet and educator Avery R. Young will recite never-before-heard poetry that links and recontextualizes the scenes of the production (April 28, April 30 and May 2). “Young has created a poetic narration, which he will be performing, giving Twilight: Gods a strong Chicago voice, and adding contemporary resonance to this exploration of some of the core themes and subtexts of Wagner’s great music drama,” says Freud. “It offers our audiences an exciting and radical new way to experience live opera.”
Outgoing Music Director Sir Andrew Davis.
The Lyric also commemorates the tenure of Music Director Sir Andrew Davis, who bids farewell this year. Premiering May 16 (2 p.m. on YouTube and Facebook), virtual concert Sir Andrew Davis: From Mozart to Stravinsky is an ode to his three decades of musical artistry at the Lyric. The exclusive production will feature excerpts including the first opera he conducted at the Lyric, Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, and the last opera he conducted as music director, Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress.“[My tenure has] meant being able to do some really exciting repertoire that I wouldn’t have been able to do elsewhere,” says Davis. “It’s meant working with some of the greatest singers on the international scene. It’s been about refining the orchestra and developing the chorus, which has been greatly enhanced by the advent of Michael Black as chorus master, whom I stole from Opera Australia! It’s been like having a huge close-knit family, which includes not only all the musicians, but also all the administrative staff, the backstage, the dressers, the wig department and the stagehands—all of which are indispensable to producing the end results we’re so proud of. It’s been a long and deeply fulfilling chapter in my musical life.”
Photography by: Mitty Carter; Todd Rosenberg