This edition of the hour-long online series - described as "informative and thought-provoking sessions with singers, directors, and conductors" - sees Dessay joined in discussion by co-star Jonas Kaufmann, conductor Emmanuel Villaume, and Lyric Opera dramaturg Roger Pines.
The next installment, going live on Oct. 1, highlights The Pearl Fishers and will include contributions from soprano Nicole Cabell, baritone Nathan Gunn, tenor Eric Cutler, and conductor John Mauceri. Roger Pines moderates that session.
Another notable program will be a Nov. 16 Porgy and Bess Symposium - marking the piece's company debut - featuring baritone Gordon Hawkins, soprano Morenike Fadayomi, conductor John DeMain, Gershwin authority Wayne Shirley, and musicologist Naomi Andr_.
Podcasts may be streamed or downloaded by visiting www.lyricopera.org/podcast.
Lyric Opera of Chicago's Discovery Series is a great way to learn more about each opera of the 2008-09 season _ direct from the source! The series offers insightful discussions and perceptive commentary by a lineup of superstar singers, conductors, directors, and opera experts. The Discovery Series is organized and produced by Lyric's Education Department.
In addition to the Discovery Series episodes, the Backstage at Lyric podcast features in-depth interviews with the singers, conductors, and creative talents involved in Lyric's current season. Backstage at Lyric had more than 60,000 downloads last season, when it was launched.
Discovery Series Schedule:
The Pearl Fishers
Wednesday, October 1, 6-7 p.m., UBS Tower. Before Carmen, Bizet penned this atmospheric jewel of forbidden love and broken promises set in ancient Ceylon. Nicole Cabell (LeÇla), Nathan Gunn (Zurga) and Eric Cutler (Nadir) are joined by conductor John Mauceri for an exploration of this exotic work.
Wednesday, November 5, 6-7 p.m., UBS Tower. Marlis Petersen (Lulu) has triumphed internationally as the sexually smoldering femme fatale in Alban Berg's crime story/opera. She joins Sir Andrew Davis, who will conduct the complex and emotion-laden masterpiece.
Porgy and Bess Symposium
Sunday, November 16, 2-4 p.m., Thorne Auditorium. "Summertime," "It Ain't Necessarily So," "Bess You is my Woman"‹this opera's melodies are part of the fabric of American life. To illuminate the company premiere of Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, Lyric has assembled a dynamic panel of singers, Gershwin scholars, and the production's Conductor. Symposium panelists include University of Michigan ethnomusicologist Naomi Andr_, Gershwin authority Wayne Shirley, Gordon Hawkins (Porgy), Morenike Fadayomi (Bess), and conductor John DeMain. Renowned music critic Wynne Delacoma moderates.
Tuesday, December 16, 6-7 p.m., UBS Tower. Two Lyric favorites star as Butterfly and Pinkerton in this heart-rending East-meets-West tragedy. Patricia Racette and Frank Lopardo will offer brilliant and compelling insights into Puccini, his opera, and its characters.
Tristan und Isolde
Wednesday, January 21, 6-7 p.m., UBS Tower. Wagner's 1865 masterpiece changed opera forever _ in fact, it changed music forever _ and has been the subject of countless articles, books, and intellectual musings ever since its premiere. Title-role stars Deborah Voigt and Clifton Forbis discuss this titanic vocal feast, which influenced Mahler, Strauss, and a host of 20th-century composers.
Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci
Wednesday, February 11, 6-7 p.m., UBS Tower. These two powerful stage works are the best example of Italian verismo ever penned. Ana Mar‹a Mart‹nez (Nedda/Pagliacci), Guang Yang (Santuzza/Cavalleria), and Mark Delavan (Alfio/Cavalleria and Tonio/Pagliacci), principal artists from the double bill, get to the heart of these late-19th-century tales of love, jealousy, and murder among the common folk.
The Abduction from the Seraglio
Wednesday, February 25, 6-7 p.m., UBS Tower. Matthew Polenzani (Belmonte), conductor Sir Andrew Davis, and director Chas Rader-Shieber probe the world of pashas and harems in the tragic-comedic singspiel that contains some of Mozart's most formidable vocal writing.
Visit www.lyricopera.org for tickets and further information on the 2008-2009 season.