First Look: Steven Pasquale and Laura Osnes as Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel New production directed by Rob Ashford onstage at Lyric April 10 – May 3, 2015; opening night April 11

Steven Pasquale & Laura OsnesLyric Opera of Chicago’s new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel runs April 10 to May 3 at the Civic Opera House (opening night April 11). The production is directed and choreographed by Tony, Emmy, and Olivier Award winner Rob Ashford and stars Steven Pasquale as carousel barker Billy Bigelow; Laura Osnes as his true love, millworker Julie Jordan; Jenn Gambatese as Carrie Pipperidge; Matthew Hydzik as Enoch Snow; Denyce Graves as Nettie Fowler; Jarrod Emick, as Jigger Craigin; Charlotte d’Amboise as Mrs. Mullin; and Tony Robertsas the Starkeeper.

Pasquale most recently triumphed on Broadway in The Bridges of Madison County with Kelli O’Hara and is currently appearing on CBS’s The Good Wife. A two-time Tony nominee, Osnes most recently starred on Broadway in Rodgers + Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Gambatese returns to Lyric after her highly praised portrayal of Maria in last season’s production of The Sound of Music. Matthew Hydzik recently starred on Broadway in the acclaimed revival of Side Show as song-and-dance man Buddy Foster and as Tony in the recent revival of West Side Story.  Internationally acclaimed opera star Denyce Graves will make her musical theater debut with this production, singing the iconic “You’ll Never Walk Alone.” Emick is a Tony Award, Drama Desk, and Theatre Award winner for his portrayal of Joe Hardy in the 1994 production of Damn Yankees. Two-time Tony nominee d’Amboise recently closed a two-year run in the Broadway revival of Pippin, for which she won her second Astaire Award for excellence in dance on Broadway. Also a two-time Tony nominee, Roberts’s long list of Broadway credits include The Royal Family; The Tale of the Allergist’s Wife; Victor, Victoria; Cabaret, The Sisters Rosensweig; Jerome Robbins’ Broadway; Promises, Promises; and Play It Again, Sam. He can be seen on screen in Annie Hall, Play It Again, Sam, The Taking of Pelham One Two Three, and many others.

Carousel will be directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford, who made his Lyric debut in the 2013-14 season directing a new production of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville. Ashford is the choreographer for the 87th Academy Awards, airing on February 22. He recently co-directed Macbeth at the Park Avenue Armory with Kenneth Branagh and directed NBC’s recent live musical hits Peter Pan Live! and The Sound of Music Live!. Conductor David Chase makes his Lyric debut with Carousel, and will lead members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus. Chase is a regular collaborator with Ashford; he was music director for The Sound of Music Live! and Peter Pan Live!, as well as the recent Broadway revival of  How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, which was directed and choreographed by Ashford. Artist Paolo Ventura will make his theatrical debut as set designer. Tony Award-winning Catherine Zuber is costume designer, returning to Lyric after her company debut with Ashford’s Barber. Lighting will be designed by Neil Austin, and Michael Black will be chorus master.

Carousel is the third Rodgers and Hammerstein musical to be presented as part of Lyric’s American Musical Theater Initiative. The King and I andSouth Pacific follow in the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons, respectively. Past productions were Oklahoma! in the 2012-13 season and The Sound of Musicin the 2013-14 season.

Carousel runs Friday, April 10 through Sunday, May 3, 2015 (26 performances, including one preview and one student matinee) at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Dr., Chicago. Tickets start at $29, and are available at or at 312-827-5600.  The official press opening forCarousel is Saturday, April 11 at 7pm.

The April 11 opening night performance of Carousel will be broadcast on 98.7WFMT streamed on on Sunday, April 12 at 7:15pm.

The new Lyric Opera production of Carousel is generously made possible by The Negaunee Foundation, an Anonymous Donor, Robert S. and Susan E. Morrison, Mr. and Mrs. J. Christopher Reyes, Liz Stiffel, Mrs. Herbert A. Vance and Mr. and Mrs. William C. Vance, and Jim and Vicki Mills/Jon and Lois Mills.

About Lyric

Founded in 1954, Lyric Opera of Chicago’s mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form.

Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent.

Under the leadership of general director Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and creative consultant Renée Fleming, Lyric strives to become the great North American Opera Company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.