Lyric Opera of Chicago announces The New Classics: Songs from the New Golden Age of Musical Theater, a virtual cabaret starring Broadway’s Gavin Creel, Nikki Renée Daniels, and Norm Lewis, plus Amanda Castro, Jenn Gambatese, Jo Lampert, and Heath Saunders, with David Chase as music director and featuring members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra. This cabaret will premiere on Thursday, June 10 at 7:00pm CT for free to audiences on Lyric’s Facebook and YouTube channels.
The New Classics will highlight the best of new and old Broadway, featuring a combination of classic musical theater songs performed in intimate new arrangements, coupled with songs from newer shows that are the inheritors of the classic style. The cabaret will also touch on the history of the Lyric Opera House space in which some of the artists recorded their numbers, and will explore recurring themes of love and longing, journeys of transformation, and celebrations of survival.
Songs by Lerner and Loewe, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Stephen Sondheim will be featured, along with compositions by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Henry Krieger and Bill Russell, Michael John LaChiusa, Jason Robert Brown, William Finn, Lucy Simon and Marsha Norman, Jeanine Tesori and Dick Scanlan, Andrew Lippa, David Yazbek, and Adam Guettel.
Leading the cabaret from an intimate backstage corner of the Lyric Opera House will be Gavin Creel (Hello Dolly!, The Book of Mormon), Nikki Renée Daniels (Hamilton, Sondheim’s Company), and Norm Lewis (Da Five Bloods, NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert!).
These three artists will be joined by Lyric musical favorites Amanda Castro (Anita/Lyric’s West Side Story), Jenn Gambatese (Maria/The Sound of Music and Carrie/CaroJo Lampertusel), Jo Lampert (Mary Magdalene/Jesus Christ Superstar), and Heath Saunders (title role/Jesus Christ Superstar), who will perform selections from their respective homes as a part of the cabaret.
David Chase, a celebrated Broadway music director/supervisor, serves as the music director and pianist for The New Classics. Chase made his Lyric debut conducting Carousel in the 2014/15 Season and has since returned for The King and I, My Fair Lady, and Lyric’s Celebrating 100 Years of Bernstein concert. He will be joined by members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra.
"The spirit of Broadway and the spirit of Lyric share a common passion for the arts and a common drive to bring music to the community during these uncertain times," said Anthony Freud, Lyric’s general director, president & CEO. "We are delighted to offer this engaging escape into an intimate world of musical theater, showcasing these exceptional artists."
For more information on this exciting night of musical theater, visit lyricopera.org/newclassics.
To explore Lyric's full complement of digital programming this season, including concerts, masterclasses, and more, visit lyricopera.org/newprograms.
The New Classics: Songs from the Golden Age of Music Theater is generously made possible by Shure Incorporated and Crowe LLP.
Lyric Opera of Chicago is committed to redefining what it means to experience great opera. The company is driven to deliver consistently excellent artistry through innovative, relevant, celebratory programming that engages and energizes new and traditional audiences.
Under the leadership of general director, president & CEO Anthony Freud, music director Sir Andrew Davis, music director designate Enrique Mazzola, and special projects advisor Renée Fleming, Lyric is dedicated to reflecting, and drawing strength from the diversity of Chicago. Lyric offers, through innovation, collaboration and evolving learning opportunities, ever more exciting, accessible, and thought-provoking audience and community experiences. We also stand committed to training the artists of the future, through The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center and to becoming increasingly diverse across our audiences, staff, programming and artists - magnifying the welcoming pull of our art form, our company, and our city.
Through the timeless power of voice, the splendor of a great orchestra and chorus, theater, dance, design, and truly magnificent stagecraft, Lyric is devoted to immersing audiences in worlds both familiar and unexpected, creating shared experiences that resonate long after the curtain comes down.
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Photos: Matthew Murphy, Peter Hurley, Ambe J Williams