CHICAGO OPERA THEATER Offers 4 Different September “VIEWPOINTS” Events in Preparation for the Chicago Premiere of Verdi’s JOAN OF ARC

image001Chicago Opera Theater (COT) offers more opportunities to look inside its operas through its new initiative, “Viewpoints.”  These collaborations with Chicago cultural institutions draw audiences even further into the passionate world of COT’s 2013 Season, “Power of Love – Love of Power,” and offer new insight and perspective on the artistry and vision of upcoming productions. 

Four “Viewpoints” are held in anticipation of COT’s Chicago Premiere of Giuseppe Verdi’s Joan of Arc, a newly conceived production by veteran theater director David Schweizer with dramaturg John Conklin.  Placing the audience directly in the midst of a play within a play, Schweizer’s vision sheds new light on one of history’s most well known, but perhaps least understood, women warriors.  Chicago Opera Theater performsJoan of Arc at the Harris Theater, 205 E. Randolph Street, Saturday, September 21Wednesday, September 25Friday, September 27; and Sunday, September 29. Tickets are on sale now.

“Viewpoints” Events for Joan of Arc


  • The Passion of Joan of Arc

Sunday, September 8, 12 pm

At Facets Multimedia, 1517 W Fullerton Ave.

$5 for COT Subscribers, $9 regular admission


View one of the muses that inspired Schweizer, COT’s director of Joan of Arc, with Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 landmark silent film, The Passion of Joan of Arc.  Based on the actual transcripts of Joan’s trial and execution, this film convinced the world that movies could be art.  The biographical drama stars Renée Jeanne Falconetti, Eugène Silvain, André Berley and Maurice Schutz.

The audience’s immersion into the film will be augmented by a post-screening discussion with COT General Director Andreas Mitisek along with live performance excerpts from COT’s Joan of Arc.

More information on Facets Multimedia:


  • ·        Verdi Symposium

Sunday, September 15, 11 am – 4 pm

Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago, 915 E. 60th St.



This day-long symposium is an intellectual dive into the musical genius of Giuseppe Verdi guided by three scholars, sponsored jointly by the Istituto Italiano di Cultura, the Department of Music at The University of Chicago and Chicago Opera Theater.  Author and University of Chicago scholar Alberto Rizzuti, Jesse Rosenberg from Northwestern University and Mitisek together discuss recent academic studies of Verdi’s work.  Following a lunch break, participants reconvene in the afternoon for live performances by Chicago Opera Theater’s Joan of Arc singers/actors with additional discussion with director Schweizer, Joan of Arcstars Suzan Hanson, Steven Harrison and Michael Chioldi, and New Millennium Orchestra conductor Francesco Milioto.


More information on the Logan Center:


  • ·        Deconstructing Opera

Wednesday, September 18, 6:30 pm Beverage and Hors d’oeuvres Reception; 7 pm Discussion

Chicago Academy for the Arts, 1010 W Chicago Ave.

Free with advanced registration; register at


Director Schweizer, dramaturg Conklin, conductor Milioto and Mitisek lead a discussion on how and why some choose to challenge traditional conventions in opera.  Among other topics, these four artists discuss why some opera companies and directors have a habit of presenting tradition opera classics in traditional productions time and again, and how Schweizer, Conklin, Milioto and Mitisek have made the decisions to artistically “break the rules” both with Joan of Arc as well as throughout their careers.


  • ·        Joan of Arc: The Icon Revealed

Sunday, September 22, 12 pm

Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N State St.

$6 for COT subscribers, $11 regular admission


University of Chicago professors Daisy Delogu and Francoise Meltzer guide the audience through excerpts of films, plays and operas all inspired by Joan of Arc, including excerpts of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s 1928 film The Passion of Joan of Arc, followed by a discussion with Mitisek and Schweizer to further understand the ongoing fascination with this particular historical character and her battles, both internal and external.


More information:


About COT’s Joan of Arc

The Harris Theater for Music & Dance


Saturday, September 21, 7:30 pm

Wednesday, September 25, 7:30 pm

Friday, September 27, 7:30 pm

Sunday, September 29, 3:00 pm


Italian with English supertitles.


Tickets:  Prices range from $35 to $125.  Reduced prices are offered to subscribers.  First-time subscribers for the new 2014 – 40th Season, receive a 50% discount on season tickets.  Tickets and subscriptions can be purchased by calling the COT Box Office at 312-704-8414 or online at


Composer:                                            GIUSEPPE VERDI

Libretto:                                                TEMISTOCLE SOLERA


Conductor:                                            FRANCESCO MILIOTO

Director:                                               DAVID SCHWEIZER

Production Design                                JACK MAGAW

Costume Designer:                               JANICE PYTEL

Lighting Designer:                                KEITH PARHAM


JOAN OF ARC:                                    SUZAN HANSON

CARLO VII:                                          STEVEN HARRISON

GIACOMO:                                           MICHAEL CHIOLDI

Joan of Arc (Giovanna d’Arco) premiered at the Scala in Milan, February 15, 1845.  Due to strict religious censorship, three months post-Milan, the opera’s altered story was produced in Rome as Orietta di Lesbo.  With the Greek Isles as the new battlefield, Joan became a heroine of the Lesbians against the Turks.  Both renditions have seen very little light on stage.  In 1966, the U.S. concert premiere was performed at Carnegie Hall and reappeared in 1996.  Its first U.S. stage performance was in 1976 by the now known New York Grand Opera and again in 1983 and 1995.  Based on a play by Friedrich Schiller. Joan of Arc is infused with Verdi’s high-octane vocal fireworks.

Joan of Arc is generously supported by Gregory J. O’Leary and Patricia A. Kenney, the NIB Foundation, theNational Endowment for the Arts and The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation.

For more information on the Chicago Opera Theater and its programs please