The Consul | Studebaker Theater | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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Patricia Racette and Victoria Livengood

Patricia Racette and Victoria Livengood

Keith Ian Polakoff

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through Nov. 12 2017
Price: $45-$145
chicagooperatheater.org
Sad to say, the displaced-person theme of this Gian Carlo Menotti opera, written in the wake of World War II, is as relevant today as it was when it was first performed in 1950. Chicago Opera Theater's production, directed by former COT general director Andreas Mitisek, features a strong cast headed by luminous soprano Patricia Racette as a woman trapped in a brutal totalitarian country with a critically ill baby and a husband (baritone Justin Ryan) who's an activist in the cause of freedom and on the run from the police. The story turns on her desperate, perpetually stymied efforts to get a visa from a surreal bureaucracy. Mezzo-soprano Victoria Livengood—veteran of numerous productions of this work—is a vocal and physical powerhouse as the couple's live-in mother-in-law. Kristof van Grysperre conducts an appropriately jarring score. It’s not an easy piece to see, and not meant to be. —Deanna Isaacs

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