Chicago on the Fringe

Missy Mazzoli and Nico Muhly are leading the pack of American composers who create works that are on trend for the current market in opera. This weekend you have the unique chance to experience two of the local pioneering chamber opera companies presenting operas by Mazzoli and Muhly.  

Third Eye Theatre Ensemble is in the second weekend of its run of Nico Muhly's Dark Sisters and has already garnered an enthusiastic review from the often unforgiving Chicago Classical Review.  “The powerful opening-night performance delivered by Third Eye Theatre provided searing dramatic sizzlein the tiny black box venue along with consistently inspired singing.”  The roster for Dark Sisters includes Kelly Hollis “the fulcrum of the evening…singing with distinction,” Angela Born “[who] sang with a youthful, attractive soprano and brought dramatic conviction to her Act II aria,” Melissa Arning “a powerful highlight,” and Vocal Arts Chicago favorite Mary Lutz Govertsen “[who] displayed a flexible soprano.”  

Dark Sisters continues this weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) at the Prop Theater in Avondale and has closes next weekend Nov 4th-6th.  

Women also take the lead in Chicago Fringe Opera’s season opener Song from the Uproar. Amy Hutchinson (Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera) directs a strong cast headlined by Chicago new-comer Emma Sorenson in the role of Isabelle Eberhardt.  Cathy O’Shaughnessy, founder of Windy City Opera and conductor of Floating Opera Company’s Don Giovanni, returns to Fringe to lead the home-team vocal ensemble (comprised ofsopranos Diana Stoic – a VAC favorite, and Leigh Folta; mezzo-soprano Ashley Armstrong; tenor Jonathan Zeng; and baritone Cody Monta Jarrett) with a seven-instrument band that includes woodwinds and electric guitar.  Chicago Fringe Opera’s clear mission is in reach with musicians likeO’Shaughnessy. Her formidable skills allows CFO to tackle these projects and pull them off with flair and integrity as they recently did with In the Penal Colony.  

Performances take place on Friday, Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at Preston Bradley Center in Uptown.  As an added attraction, Missy Mazzoli is expected to be in attendance at Friday night’s opening performance and reception.