Summer Festival Season Begins

The Grant Park Music Festival season opener is the unofficial start of summer in Chicago.  Its outstanding chorus, led by the eccentric Christopher Bell, joins the orchestra this weekend in Michael Torke's Book of Proverbs.  Torke is an American composer who has created a substantial body of work in virtually every genre, and his music is described as joyful, uplifting, and inventive. We can certainly use some of that.  Prepare for a full lawn at the Pritzker Pavilion - opening weekend can find the park at capacity.  But if you line up before 5:30, you may score some of the 2,000 seats that are designated as free to the public.  

Chicago Summer Opera kicks off its fourth season with Benjamin Britten's Albert Herring.  Previous productions by this young artist program have introduced audiences to exceptional rising talent such as soprano Elyse Kakacek, baritone Samuel Thompson, and countertenor Patrick Terry.  Britten seems to be the specialty of conductor Codrut Birsan and he is sympathetically matched  with stage director George Cederquist.

The Floating Opera Company's creative, multi-sensory production of John Bilotta's Quantum Mechanic begins it's two weekend run.  You must check out their website to get a better idea of what this show will be like and what you may be getting for its steep ticket price.  Their Facebook page offers some informative and well-produced video which should pique your curiosity if you are not yet familiar with their rogue brand of opera.

Finally, the beloved Brandon Acker is presenting another intimate program of lute songs and duets with his regular partners soprano Erica Schuller and baritone Ryan de Ryke.  Erica and Brandon performed together just last weekend in Haymarket Opera's abridged Coronation of Poppea.  Ms. Schuller is sounding divine and the editor cannot recommend this weekend's performance more highly if you love singing that pays attention to text and delivers a wide spectrum of tone colors.