America’s third opera house announces best resultsmain
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.
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.
If Chicago is America’s “second opera house”, what does that make San Francisco?
Reverse the order. It’s SF#2, Chi #3. Sorry.