Best Effort to Keep Opera a Living Art | Best of Chicago 2010 | Arts & Entertainment | Chicago Reader

You searched for:

  • [X]2010
  • [X]Arts & Entertainment
Start over

Narrow Search

Best Effort to Keep Opera a Living Art 

Chicago Opera Vanguard

“We’re fringe theater that happens to be opera,” says artistic director Eric Reda. And that hybrid status allows the troupe Reda founded in 2007 to attract audiences used to thinking of opera as elitist and expensive. While Lyric Opera and Chicago Opera Theater focus on large-scale stagings of the classics, COV is dedicated almost exclusively to low-budget, informal presentations of contemporary and experimental material. For a fraction of the price of a ticket to, say, Lyric’s upcoming Carmen, COV offers visually innovative shows featuring first-rate singing and musical direction by exciting young artists. Since its first full production in 2008—a concert rendition of Reda’s opera-oratorio Reagan’s Children, at Martyrs’ Pub in North Center—the itinerant company has presented local premieres of cutting-edge work by Andy Vores (a chamber opera version of Sartre’s No Exit), Mark-Anthony Turnage (Greek, a punk-operatic spin on the Oedipus story), and Ricky Ian Gordon (Orpheus and Euridice: A Theatrical Song Cycle), as well as an offbeat, multimedia staging of Schubert’s 1827 song cycle, Winterreise. Next season opens November 19 at Storefront Theater (66 E. Washington, 312-742-8497) with the American stage premiere of Boojum!, Australian composer Martin Wesley-Smith’s surreal journey through the mind of Lewis Carroll.

Critics' Picks

Best Dance Party

Chances Dances continue

Best Fashion Watching

School of the Art Institute, Columbia College continue

Best New Musical Group

Bin Laden Blowin' Up continue

Best Michael Jackson Cover

"Billie Jean" by Robbie Fulks continue

Best Mustache in a Local Band

Stavros "Steve" Giannopoulos of the Atlas Moth continue

Best Lawn Seat at Ravinia

Green Bay & Lake Cook 847-266-5100
The little hill that faces the main entrance to the Ravinia pavilion, Highland Park, Illinois continue

Best Microscene

No Coast Collective continue

Best Free Movie Series

Cinema/Chicago at the Chicago Cultural Center continue

Best Moonlighting Witch

Jackie Hoffman in Whining in the Windy City: Holiday Edition continue

Best Theatrical Hat Trick

Chris Sullivan in The Hairy Ape, The Mystery of Irma Vep, and The Illusion continue

Best New Play

Agon Trilogy continue

Best New Theatrical Form

One Thing, and Everything Else continue

Best Theater History Collection

Chicago Theater Collection at the Harold Washington Library Center continue

Best Puppeteer

Michael Montenegro continue

Best Place to See a Seven-Man Pyramid Cross the High Wire

Hephaestus: A Greek Mythology Circus Tale continue

Best Variety Show

Impress These Apes continue

Best Improv Group

Cook County Social Club continue

Best Stand-up Comedian

A tie between Beth Stelling and Junior Stopka continue

Best Sketch Show

The Best Church of God continue

Best Commentary on Modern Technology by a Choreographer

Julia Rhoads at Lucky Plush Productions continue

Best UnderĀ­appreciated Chicago Novel

Bertram Cope's Year by Henry Blake Fuller continue
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)