Lyric Opera's Ryan Opera Center Sets Showcase of Talented 2018 Roster

The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center at Lyric Opera of Chicago will present its annual Rising Stars in Concert program on Saturday, April 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Lyric Opera House. The concert will include artists and the pianist of the 2017/18 Ensemble performing with members of the acclaimed Lyric Opera Orchestra.

The program will feature an array of beloved classics and lesser-known masterpieces by a variety of composers including Tchaikovsky, Offenbach, Massenet and Mozart, among others. Rising Stars in Concert is offered as a celebratory event to highlight another particularly successful year of training and performance for the Ryan Opera Center Ensemble. As in previous years, Lyric donors of $50 and above are eligible to reserve two complimentary tickets to this special performance.

"Rising Stars in Concert, an annual event, is always one of the most exciting nights of our season," says Anthony Freud, Lyric’s general director. "It gives the artists of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center a wonderful opportunity to show that they have the voice, musicality, and stage presence to make outstanding careers. We take tremendous pride in presenting them in this concert, accompanied by the always-remarkable Lyric Opera Orchestra."

Ryan Opera Center members on the program include sopranos Whitney Morrison, Diana Newman and Ann Toomey; mezzo-soprano Lindsay Metzger; contralto Lauren Decker; tenors Alec Carlson, Josh Lovell, and Mario Rojas; baritones Emmett O’Hanlon and Takaoki Onishi; bass-baritone Alan Higgs; and bass Patrick Guetti. Ryan Opera Center pianist Madeline Slettedahl will also perform a selection by French composer Maurice Ravel.

The annual showcase provides a unique opportunity to hear these artists performing arias and ensembles with the Lyric Opera Orchestra conducted by Edwin Outwater, former music director of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony (2007-2017) and creator and curator of the popular concert series The Line-up at Wrigley Field in Chicago.

Ensemble members Diana Newman, Lindsay Metzger, Alec Carlson, Emmett O’Hanlon, Takaoki Onishi, and Patrick Guetti are concluding their tenure with the Ryan Opera Center following the concert to pursue full-time careers nationally and internationally. The remaining seven Ensemble members will return to the program for 2018/19.

​The concert will also be recorded for broadcast on 98.7WFMT and via wfmt.com the following day, Sunday, April 8, at 6 p.m., which is sponsored by the Donna Van Eekeren Foundation. WFMT’s Lisa Flynn and Lyric’s dramaturg Roger Pineswill serve as host and commentator respectively.

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Lyric Opera's Ryan Opera Center 2018 fellows (photo by Todd Rosenberg).

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