Lyric Opera of Chicago Commits to Five Rodgers & Hammerstein Hits; Opera Season Will Include Rob Ashford, John Caird
By Kenneth Jones
The major musicals of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II will find a home at Lyric Opera of Chicago between 2013 and 2017, the Lyric's general director Anthony Freud announced on Feb. 7. Following the coming spring production of Oklahoma!, the troupe just "cain't say no" to four more R&H titles.
Ted Chapin, president and executive director of Rodgers and Hammerstein: An Imagem Company, was present in Chicago at the revelation of the planned productions of the R&H hits The Sound of Music (2014), Carousel (2015), The King and I (2016) and South Pacific (2017). Directors, casting and creative teams will be announced later.
The works are part of Lyric's American Musical Theater Initiative, which occurs outside of the regular opera subscription season.
Repertoire for the Lyric's 2013-14 opera season was also announced Feb. 7: Otello (directed by two-time Tony winner Peter Hall), Madama Butterfly, Parsifal (directed by two-time Tony winner John Caird, of Les Misérables and Nicholas Nickleby fame), La traviata, Die Fledermaus, The Barber of Seville (directed by Tony Award winner Rob Ashford, whose design team will include Broadway's Scott Pask and Catherine Zuber), Rusalka and La clemenza di Tito.
The subscription season will run Oct. 5, 2013-March 23, 2014.
Subscribers will get first choice of seats and special "musical-theatre pricing" for the 2014 staging of The Sound of Music, following Lyric's regular season. The on-sale date, casting, pricing and production information of The Sound of Music (and other R&H titles) will be announced in the future.
Lyric's leadership includes general director Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis and creative consultant Renée Fleming.
As previously reported, following the current opera season, Lyric will mount a new production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma! May 4-19. John Cudia, Ashley Brown, Jenn Gambatese and David Adam Moore will star. Gary Griffin will direct; James Lowe will conduct.
For more information, visit lyricopera.org.
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