Freud quits Chicago, returning home

Freud quits Chicago, returning home


norman lebrecht

September 14, 2023

The Lyric Opera will lose its general director at the end of this season, two years before his contract is up.

Anthony Freud, 65, has decided to return to England with his husband Colin Ure.

Before taking on the Lyric in 2011, he was head of Houston Grand Opera (2006-11) and Welsh National Opera (1994-2005).

‘During Anthony’s tenure, Lyric has seen tremendous artistic growth and amazing firsts,’ said board chair Sylvia Neil. ‘Thanks to Anthony’s leadership and hard work, Lyric enhanced its national and international leadership in the field and stands out as an indispensable part of the cultural and civic fabric of Chicago.’


  • James Weiss says:

    He presided over an unprecedented decline in artistic quality at Lyric Opera of Chicago. His tenure was an unmitigated disaster. One wonders if the company will ever recover especially since the clueless board remains.

  • GCMP says:

    ‘During Anthony’s tenure, Lyric has seen tremendous artistic growth and amazing firsts,’ REALLY? Cutting the season (using Covid as an excuse) is hardly tremendous artistic growth.

  • Reuther says:

    He traded in opera for Broadway and gutted the contract of both the orchestra and the chorus. Hired his husband to be dramaturg. The end of an error.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hmmmmmm. Wonder what’s going on there. Thought he was happy here.

  • Musician says:

    Good Riddance. Utter contempt for the orchestra. Now if we can just get the bozo running the MET to do the same!

  • Michel.Lemieux says:

    He turned the Chicago Lyric into a 2nd rate opera house. His hiring of the little-known Enrique Mazzola as MD was puzzling.

  • Anthony Fraud says:

    Best news I have heard in quite some time. He reduced one America’s top opera houses into a musical theater venue. I hope this means the end of Renee Fleming’s utterly meaningless tenure as the face of the Lyric as well. She has been an unnecessary financial burden on the company for years.

  • Just Me says:

    Best news of the year! He had diminished the operas done by Lyric, made the worse business decisions and destroyed the program. Could we also get rid of Mazzola and Fleming? Love and respect Fleming as a singer, but in the business world of Lyric, she has not contributed a thing. Just another expense that could’ve been used for other projects like the Ryan Opera