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Lyric Opera of Chicago Podcasts

Behind-the-scenes interviews from Lyric Opera of Chicago

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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Backstage at Lyric #46 -- 2009/2010 Season Preview

Sir Andrew Davis previews the 2009/10 season with musical excerpts and commentary in this 18-minute audio clip.

25 Feb 2009

Rank #1

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Backstage at Lyric #98 -- Discovery Series: A Masked Ball

A Swedish monarch flirts with his trusted friend's wife and soon enough, they're on the road to perdition. Join A Masked Ball's director, opera legend Renata Scotto and celebrated tenor Frank Lopardo (King Gustavo) as they explore duty, honor, and middle-period Verdi.

1hr 17mins

11 Nov 2010

Rank #2

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Backstage at Lyric #91 -- Carmen: Discovery Series

Acclaimed American bass-baritone Kyle Ketelsen, Escamillo in this season's Carmen, joins celebrated French conductor Alain Altinoglu for an illuminating discussion of Bizet's richly melodic and powerfully dramatic masterpiece.

1hr 1min

11 Oct 2010

Rank #3

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Backstage at Lyric #116 -- Discovery Series: Lucia di Lammermoor

Bel canto means beautiful singing, and Lucia is full of it. Listen to Lyric's Lucia (Susanna Phillips), Edgardo (Giuseppe Filianoti), and Maestro Massimo Zanetti in a discussion of Donizetti's bel canto rendering of murder and madness in 17th-century Scotland.

1hr 4mins

26 Oct 2011

Rank #4

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Backstage at Lyric #119 -- Discovery Series: The Magic Flute

Join our all-star panel – Lyric’s own Nicole Cabell (Pamina), Charles Castronovo (Tamino), Stéphane Degout (Papageno), and Sir Andrew Davis - to get the what's what on Mozart's final opera, a story of love, friendship, and the ideals of the Enlightenment.

1hr 1min

2 Dec 2011

Rank #5

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Backstage at Lyric #84 -- The Marriage of Figaro: Joyce DiDonato

American mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato is Backstage at Lyric! In this episode, the renowned singer discusses her role as Cherubino in Lyric's current production of The Marriage of Figaro, the challenges of singing Mozart's music, and performing at London's Covent Garden in a wheelchair! WFMT's George Preston hosts.

16mins

11 Mar 2010

Rank #6

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Backstage at Lyric #83 -- The Marriage of Figaro Discovery Series: Danielle de Niese and Kyle Ketelsen

It's one of the great works of Western culture, and Lyric's cast is second to none. Do not miss this Discovery Series session with the delightfully engaging Danielle de Niese (Susanna) and Kyle Ketelsen (Figaro).

1hr 6mins

5 Mar 2010

Rank #7

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Backstage at Lyric #109 -- Discovery Series: The Girl of the Golden West

Sagebrush verismo! Rough-and tumble characters, soaring arias, and a harmonically sumptuous score in the original spaghetti Western! Deborah Voigt (Minnie), Marcello Giordani (Dick Johnson), and conductor Sir Andrew Davis hitch up the buckboard and head west for a look at this most adventuresome addition to the Puccini oeuvre.

1hr 5mins

21 Jan 2011

Rank #8

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Backstage at Lyric #95 -- Symposium: Shakespeare Goes To The Opera

Shakespeare has inspired more than a few memorable operas, and this season Lyric is offering two of them -- Verdi's Macbeth (1847) and Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream (1960). This two-hour symposium features director Barbara Gaines (Macbeth) of Chicago Shakespeare Theater; singers David Daniels (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Thomas Hampson (Macbeth), and Nadja Michael (Macbeth); conductor Rory Macdonald (A Midsummer Night's Dream); and University of Chicago Shakespeare scholar David Bevington. Moderated by classical music critic Wynne Delacoma and Chicago Public Radio's Steve Edwards.

1hr 57mins

22 Oct 2010

Rank #9

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A STAR YOU SHOULD KNOW: JOHAN BOTHA

South African dramatic tenor Johan Botha, a true master-singer and hugely acclaimed worldwide portraying the heroes of Wagner, returns to Lyric Opera in the title role of Lohengrin.

2mins

17 Sep 2010

Rank #10

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Backstage at Lyric #81 -- The Marriage of Figaro: Danielle de Niese

The vivacious Australian-born lyric soprano, who created a sensation in her Lyric debut two seasons ago as Handel's Cleopatra, is making her eagerly awaited return to the company as Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro. Here she discusses the qualities she most admires in Susanna, as well as her stage partnership in this opera with Kyle Ketelsen, her feelings regarding Figaro as a whole, and how her performances of pre-1800 repertoire has enhanced her artistry.

14mins

3 Mar 2010

Rank #11

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Backstage at Lyric #101 -- A Masked Ball: Sondra Radvanovsky

American soprano Sondra Radvanovsky is acknowledged by audiences and critics throughout North America and Europe as one of today's few true Verdi sopranos. She is returning to Lyric this season to sing her first Amelia, one of the most eagerly awaited role debuts of her career. Here she discusses the formidable challenges of the role in relation to other heroines in her repertoire. Lyric Opera dramaturg Roger Pines poses the questions.

25mins

18 Nov 2010

Rank #12

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Backstage at Lyric #117 -- Discovery Series: Boris Godunov

Bass Ferruccio Furlanetto (Boris), stage director Julia Pevzner, and Lyric music director Sir Andrew Davis offer lively discourse on Mussorgsky's dark portrait of a tormented ruler and his long-suffering subjects.

1hr 2mins

9 Nov 2011

Rank #13

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Backstage at Lyric #48 -- Discovery Series: The Abduction from the Seraglio with Matthew Polenzani (Belmonte), conductor Sir Andrew Davis and director Chas Rader-Shieber

The story's a simple one - but the demands on the singers are anything but! Marvel at our "best in the business" Mozart masters in this delightful Discovery Series podcast featuring tenor Matthew Polenzani, director Chas Rader-Shieber and conductor Sir Andrew Davis.

3 Mar 2009

Rank #14

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Backstage at Lyric #108 -- The Mikado: James Morris

A legendary artist and a great Lyric favorite, American bass-baritone James Morris has long been celebrated throughout the world in many of the most formidable roles in the repertoire, including Wagner's Wotan and Dutchman, Puccini's Scarpia, and the four villains of Offenbach's TALES OF HOFFMANN. But Morris is also a big fan of Gilbert and Sullivan, and he was delighted to return to Lyric this season in the title role of THE MIKADO. He discusses this amazing change of pace in conversation with Lyric broadcast host George Preston of 98.7WFMT.

11mins

17 Dec 2010

Rank #15

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Backstage at Lyric #80 -- The Marriage of Figaro: Mariusz Kwiecien

The renowned Polish baritone, who triumphed at Lyric two seasons ago as Tchaikovsky's Onegin, is back with the company in 2009-10 in his internationally celebrated portrayal of the Count in The Marriage of Figaro. In this podcast he explores the Count's complex character and also discusses his aria, the most challenging for a baritone in the Mozart repertoire.

18mins

3 Mar 2010

Rank #16

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Backstage at Lyric #120 -- Discovery Series: Aida

Listen as Verdi soprano supreme Sondra Radvanovsky (Aida) and the always-incendiary Jill Grove (Amneris) discuss the late Verdi favorite, Aida.

59mins

23 Jan 2012

Rank #17

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A STAR YOU SHOULD KNOW: MARCELLO GIORDANI

Tenor Marcello Giordani, one of Italy's greatest stars and a huge favorite at the Metropolitan Opera, makes his long-awaited return to Lyric as Dick Johnson in The Girl of the Golden West.

2mins

26 May 2010

Rank #18

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Backstage at Lyric #87 -- Macbeth: Thomas Hampson, Part 1

The magnificent American baritone Thomas Hampson, a great favorite of Chicago audiences, is returning to Lyric this season in one of his most celebrated characterizations, the title role of Macbeth. Here he discusses the role in depth with Mark Travis, producer of Lyric's broadcasts.

28mins

26 Apr 2010

Rank #19

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Backstage at Lyric #85 -- Rising Stars: Amber Wagner and Corey Crider

The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center was established in 1974 as the professional artist-development program for Lyric Opera of Chicago. In this podcast, host Roger Pines interviews soprano Amber Wagner and baritone Corey Crider, two exceptionally gifted young artists currently completing their tenure in the program.

25mins

17 Mar 2010

Rank #20