Lyric Opera of Chicago Returns to Radio After Four-Year Hiatus With Deborah Voigt in Salome

Classic Arts News   Lyric Opera of Chicago Returns to Radio After Four-Year Hiatus With Deborah Voigt in Salome
After a four-year hiatus, Lyric Opera of Chicago radio broadcasts will resume on October 21 with opening night of the company's new production of Salome, starring Deborah Voigt in the title role.

The performance will be broadcast live on WFMT-FM 98.7 in Chicago — and streamed over the Internet at — beginning at 7:00 pm (US Central time) with 30 minutes of commentary and taped interviews with soprano Deborah Voigt and director Francesca Zambello. The performance itself begins at 7:30 pm.

The Lyric Opera radio series will continue through the final production of the 2006-07 season, finishing with opening night of Poulenc's Dialogues of the Carmelites on February 17.

The WFMT Radio Network will rebroadcast the entire season nationally and locally next spring.

98.7 WFMT's first broadcast of a Lyric season-opening performance was in 1971, of Rossini's Semiramide, starring Joan Sutherland and Marilyn Horne. Beginning in 1973, every opera of the company's season was broadcast on its opening night until the 2001-02 season, when they were cancelled due to budget constraints.

Lyric general director William Mason said, "I know our audience will be thrilled to be able to tune in once again to WFMT and the network to hear live Lyric performances. This is wonderful news for our company and listeners locally and nationally. I am personally gratified that the spirit of cooperation throughout our union negotiations made this enormously positive turn of events possible."

Lyric has signed media-rights agreements with the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), the American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA), and the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE).

Mason told The Chicago Tribune that the company "is still looking for sponsors" to underwrite the approximately $600,000 it will cost to produce the broadcasts and rebroadcasts.

Appearing alongside Voigt in Lyric's Salome are mezzo-soprano Judith Forst as Herodias, tenor Kim Begley as Herod, bass-baritone Alan Held as Jokanaan (John the Baptist) and tenor Joseph Kaiser as Narraboth. Andrew Davis conducts the production; Francesca Zambello directs; sets are by George Tsypin; costumes by Tatiana Noginova and lighting by James F. Ingalls.

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