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Lyric Opera's Porgy and Bess

Thu., Dec. 18, 2 p.m. and Sat., Dec. 20, 7:30 p.m.

The great American opera Porgy and Bess got a very tardy and much celebrated premiere at Lyric Opera six years ago—seven decades after it was first staged in 1935. (George Gershwin composed it; the libretto was written by DuBose and Dorothy Heyward with Ira Gershwin, based on DuBose’s 1925 novel, Porgy, and Dorothy’s 1927 theatrical adaptation.) To Lyric’s credit, Porgy and Bess is coming back now, in the same picturesque Francesca Zambello production, with Zambello directing, but with significant changes in the cast. Bass-baritone Eric Owens, a Lyric favorite, takes on the role of Porgy, while soprano Adina Aaron makes her Lyric debut as Bess. Returning from the previous production are baritone Eric Greene, who’s moved up from a smaller role to that of Porgy’s nemesis, Crown, and tenor Jermaine Smith, reprising his performance as the irresistible Sportin’ Life. Ward Stare conducts. Initially dismissed by critics, this is some of the world’s most gorgeous music, perfectly complementing what might be the richest lyrics in opera. Opportunities to see and hear Porgy and Bess in a full-scale production that does it justice are still rare. —Deanna Isaacs $20-$229

Civic Opera House (map)
20 N. Wacker Dr.
phone 312-332-2244
Lyric Opera's <i>Porgy and Bess</i>


First Monday

Open run: the first Mon of each month, 12:15 PM

Abandon your regular lunchtime smoke break, nap, or illicit tryst for something a bit classier. Join the Chicago Chamber Musicans as they present First Monday, a monthly lunch-hour concert series. —Jamie Keiles
Chicago Cultural Center (map)
78 E. Washington St.
phone 312-744-6630
First Monday


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