America’s third opera house announces best results

The Lyric Opera in Chicago has enjoyed a happy season.

Ticket sales rose to $28.8 million, up from $26.6 million in 2013.

Of 284,440 tickets sold, 67,485 were purchased by first-timers.

Lyric also beat its $23.6 million annual fund-raising goal by $100,000. It’s the third buggest US company, after the Met and San Francisco.

Anthony Freud, formerly of Welsh National Opera, is running a good ship.

No sign of Peter Gelb gloom in Chicago.

lyric opera

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  • What portion of those newcomers were from the Renee Fleming Initiative (musicals and the collaboration with Second City)?

  • Certainly no sign of Peter Gelb gloom and well done the Lyric. But one has wonder what the Met’s results would look like if it had mounted a “Sound of Music “production! I’m not at all against opera companies occasionally moving into the musicals realm, but that “Sound of Music” production accounted for 25% of all tickets sold and 61% of all purchased by first-timers. Had it been “Lulu” or even “Martha” I am pretty certain those figures would not look quite so spectacular.

  • I am happy for them that they are doing well, but for a city the size of Chicago, couldn’t they maybe offer more than just 8 operas a season? Sure, I see that they also have children’s operas and a marriachi opera and a musical, but it is a far cry from smaller cities in Europe with repertoire houses that offer 20 productions per season.

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