An Intoxicating Die Fledermaus at Light Opera Works in Evanston

Reviewed by: Jim Schneider

Highly Recommended

Johann Strauss’ (the waltz king) Viennese confectionary farce Die Fledermaus premièred on 5 April 1874 at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna. The original literary source for Die Fledermaus was Das Gefängnis (The Prison), a farce by German playwright Julius Roderich Benedix that premiered in Berlin in 1851. On 10 September 1872 a three-act French vaudeville play by Henri Meilhac and Ludovic Halévy, Le Réveillon, loosely based on the Benedix farce, opened at the Théâtre du Palais-Royal. Read more

Jessie Mueller and Michelle Williams announced for Lyric Opera’s Chicago Voices Gala Concert

Lyric Opera announced today that Tony Award-winning Broadway star Jessie Mueller and gospel and R&B sensation Michelle Williams will join the line-up of performers slated for the Chicago Voices Gala Concert, a special, one-night-only concert on Saturday, February 4, at 7:30pm at Lyric’s Civic Opera House. The celebratory concert, featuring superstar artists from a variety of musical genres, pays tribute to the city’s diverse musical heritage in the biggest night of Chicago music. Read more

Lyric Opera’s New Production of Mozart’s “The Magic Flute” – A Whimsical Delight

Highly Recommended

Reviewed By: Jim Schneider

Do you remember as a child putting on a show on your back patio and getting all of your friends to participate in it? Well, Neil Armfield’s wonderful new production of The Magic Flute takes you back to those innocent days when imagination and play could create anything we wanted. Set in the backyard of a suburban home in the 1950s the neighborhood gathers to watch and participate in a production of The Magic Flute, utilizing whatever costumes and props they can find around the house and yard. Amrfield has taken Mozart’s lead from the original production produced on a shoestring which premiered at Freihaus Theater auf der Wieden in Vienna on September 30, 1791. Written for the People’s Theatre in Vienna who were strapped for cash The Magic Flute was Mozart’s gift to the lead actor of the resident company of the theatre, Schikaneder (who was also the first Papageno) and the working classes of 18th century Vienna while composed in their own language (all operas at court were performed in Italian and German was out of the question. Read more




Massenet’s Don Quichotte has never quite established itself in the opera repertoire, not because of any deficit in the music, but because it’s not immediately evident exactly what it is dramatically; is it a comedy or tragedy or some more subtle blend of the two? The last option seems to reflect the usual approach to it, which makes it a hard sell for audiences. I have always enjoyed seeing the musical theater version – especially the performances by Chicagoan James Harms – and then it all creeps up on me in that final scene and I am reminded of the don‘s Haunting death…and it IS a tragedy! Take the score for example; a fine work of French composition but nothing to do with Spain. The music is exquisite and very delicate and never really takes off until Act IV of 5 acts when the mezzo lets loose and sings and acts up a storm!

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Stewart Copeland’s “The Invention of Morel” Begins Feb. 18 at Chicago Opera Theater

Chicago Opera Theater (COT) presents “The Invention of Morel,” a world premiere of the co-commissioned opera composed by Stewart Copeland, co-founder and drummer of The Police. Based on Argentinian author Adolfo Bioy Casares’ 1940 novel “La invención de Morel,” Copeland’s new adaptation examines the triumph of time-bending love over convention in a story of adoration and desire. “The Invention of Morel” features London-based actor, director and writer Jonathan Moore as Stage Director/Librettist together with COT’s Artistic Director Andreas Mitisek as Conductor. Subsequent performances will be February 24 at 7:30 p.m.and February 26 at 3 p.m.
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Showbiz Nation LIVE! Interview with 13 Year Old Opera Singer LAURA BRETAN

13 year old opera singer and Chicago native LAURA BRETAN discusses her incredible journey on this past season’s America’s Got Talent, where she became a Top Ten Finalist. Laura kicked off season 11 of AGT, being featured on the very first audition episode and instantly won the crowd and judges over with her incredible performance of Nessun Dorma– so much that judge Mel B pressed the Golden Buzzer which sent Laura straight to the live show/quarterfinals!


Showbiz Nation LIVE! Interview with Laura Bretan from SHOWBIZ NATION LIVE! on Vimeo.

Encouraged by her mother, Laura Bretan has been singing in church since she was a four-year-old girl. At age seven, while listening to Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty,” she realized she can sing in a different manner, however she continued to sing only Christian music.

A couple of years ago, in 2014, she started to listen to other genres and to learn some arias. She fell in love with classical music and has been an aspiring opera singer ever since. She believes she can touch people’s hearts with her voice and hopes she can inspire others, especially teenagers, to enjoy opera as much as she does after realizing that it is the most complex form of art. Her favorite composers are Giacomo Puccini and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Follow Laura on Twitter @TheLauraBretan

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "Live Finale" Episode: 1122 -- Pictured: (l-r) Nick Cannon, Laura Bretan -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT — “Live Finale” Episode: 1122 — Pictured: (l-r) Nick Cannon, Laura Bretan — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)


WHAT:   The #1 show of the summer for the past decade and celebrating its most watched season in five years, America’s Got Talent will host Season 12 open call auditions in Chicago on Saturday, Nov. 12 at the McCormick Place. Chicago is the first stop on a 10-city nationwide search for America’s next big undiscovered entertainer.

Interested acts can register now by visiting, where they will also find additional details as well as helpful tips for auditioning.  Acts unable to make it to one of the 10 audition cities also have the option to submit an online audition via this same website.

WHERE:       McCormick Place 2301 S King Dr., Chicago, IL 60616
WHEN:   Saturday, November 12: Open Call Auditions

AMERICA'S GOT TALENT -- "Live Finale" Episode: 1122 -- Pictured: (l-r) Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum, Simon Cowell -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)

AMERICA’S GOT TALENT — “Live Finale” Episode: 1122 — Pictured: (l-r) Howie Mandel, Mel B, Heidi Klum, Simon Cowell — (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC)


‘AGT’ will host Season 12 auditions in 10 cities including Chicago, IL; Austin, TX; Cleveland, OH; Jacksonville, FL; Philadelphia, PA; Las Vegas, NV; New York, NY; Charleston, SC; Memphis, TN and Los Angeles, CA

Online auditions are also available for anyone unable to make it to one of the 10 audition tour stops

Follow the latest “America’s Got Talent” news on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Google+:‎ #AGT



Chicago’s historic Studebaker Theater will become the home of live opera with a contemporary adaptation of Henry Purcell’s 1692 “The Fairy Queen,” a reimagining of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” presented by Chicago Opera Theater (COT) beginning November 5. The California-based performance troupe Culture Clash and COT’s Andreas Mitisek put a modernized spin on Purcell’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic with an edgy and hilarious examination of the messes mere mortals make of relationships. “The Fairy Queen” will be performed at Chicago’s historic Studebaker Theater (410 S. Michigan Ave).  Subsequent performances will be November 11 at 7:30 p.m. and November 13 at 3 p.m.
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