The King and I, Bartlett Sher's Romeo and Juliet and Susan Stroman's Merry Widow on Deck at Lyric Opera of Chicago

News   The King and I, Bartlett Sher's Romeo and Juliet and Susan Stroman's Merry Widow on Deck at Lyric Opera of Chicago
Lyric Opera of Chicago has revealed details of its 2015-16 season, which will include a staging of Rodgers and Hammerstein's The King and I, as well as Romeo and Juliet and The Merry Widow, to be staged by Tony Award winners Bartlett Sher and Susan Stroman, respectively. The world-premiere Nilo Cruz opera Bel Canto is also on deck.

Productions of note for theatre lovers include Lehár's The Merry Widow, previously staged at the Metropolitan Opera under the direction of Tony Award-winner Susan Stroman, which will feature Renée Fleming (Nov. 14-Dec. 3) and Elizabeth Futral (Dec. 9-13). An award-winning design team join Stroman to bring the production to the stage including Julian Crouch (sets), William Ivey Long (costumes) and Paule Constable (lighting).

Following will be the world premiere of Bel Canto, running Dec. 7-Jan. 17, 2016. Composed by Jimmy López with a libretto by Pulitzer Prize winner Cruz (Anna in the Tropics), the opera is based on the Ann Patchett novel that takes inspiration from the Peruvian hostage crisis of 1996-97. According to the creators, "Danielle de Niese stars as the American diva Roxane Coss who gets caught in a months-long hostage crisis during which lines blur and unexpected alliances form between captors and captives."

Tony-winning director Sher will revive his staging of Gounod's Romeo and Juliet, which runs Feb. 22-March 19. A Tony-winning design team is on board including Michael Yeargan (sets), Catherine Zuber (costumes) and Jennifer Tipton (lighting).

The season concludes with The King and I to be presented April 29-May 22. The musical, which will be revived on Broadway this spring in a separate production (directed by Sher), is part of Lyric Opera's ongoing Rodgers and Hammerstein series. Casting and creative duties will be announced at a later date. 

As previously reported, Lyric Opera's R&H series continues this spring with Carousel, starring Laura Osnes and Steven Pasquale. Visit

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