Classical MusicMusic

“For the Love of Lyric,” a Virtual Concert to Open Lyric Opera’s New “Reimagined” Season

Lyric Opera of Chicago will open the company’s reimagined fall season with “For the Love of Lyric,” a virtual concert from the stage of the Lyric Opera House, on Sunday, September 13, available for free streaming starting at 6:00 p.m. CDT.

“Lyric’s Opening Night Opera Ball has long been a signature project of Lyric’s Women’s Board,” says Lyric’s general director, president and CEO, Anthony Freud. “Even before we began to imagine the extent of public-health limits on events and performances, the Women’s Board was hard at work rethinking what our season-opening event could and should be. Now, with further evolution and much hard work, we are proud to present For the Love of Lyric—a very special concert presentation available to the largest possible audience via streaming.”

As originally announced, world-renowned soprano Renée Fleming, Lyric’s special projects advisor and honorary Women’s Board member, will team up with special guests for an evening of celebration and music-making. Performances from Lyric’s mainstage will include Tony Award and Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter-actress Heather Headley (Broadway’s Aida, The Lion King), soprano Ailyn Pérez (Marguerite/Faust, 2018, concert appearance, 2017), bass Soloman Howard (Wurm/Luisa Miller, Lawrence Brownlee & Friends concert, both 2019) and mezzo-soprano and Ryan Opera Center alumna J’Nai Bridges (Carmen/Bel Canto, 2015, Lawrence Brownlee and Friends: The Next Chapter, 2020)—with Doug Peck (Chicago Voices concert, 2017) serving as music director. Members of The Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center Ensemble and members of the Chicago Children’s Choir will also perform.

“I’m grateful that Lyric is giving me full support, as they did with Chicago Voices, to plan something special that follows Nina Simone’s dictum that the artist’s duty is to reflect the times,” says Peck. “We have a real opportunity to craft a program that is healing, enlightening, and entertaining in perfect proportion.” The viewing audience can look forward to familiar and revelatory selections from the worlds of opera, Broadway, popular music, and some surprising sources. Peck is especially excited to introduce his longtime friend and collaborator, Heather Headley, to members of the Lyric family who may not be familiar with her work.

The For the Love of Lyric concert will be available to a select group of sponsors on Saturday, September 12 at 7:30 p.m. for a special “first look” screening, with a variety of exclusive benefits at different levels of support. Hosted by Event Chair Mimi Mitchell and Lyric Women’s Board President Caroline Huebner, all proceeds benefit Lyric Opera of Chicago. To learn more, please call 312-827-5676, or go to

To watch the For the Love of Lyric concert stream on Sunday, September 13 at 6:00 p.m. CDT, go to The company asks that you share your love of Lyric using the hashtag #ForTheLoveofLyric during the concert.