After their exciting 17/18 season announcement, Lyric Opera continues their current hit season with the most popular of them all – Carmen.  The February cast stars Ekaterina Gubanova and Joseph Calleja as the abusive lovers, but the entire run features the ravishingly beautiful Eleonara Burratto as Micaela and the deluxe bass-baritone Christian Van Horn as Escamillo.  Chicago audiences will remember Burratto’s opulent Alice from Riccardo Muti’s all-Italian concert version of Falstaff with the CSO. And we all feel invested in the career of Ryan Center alum Christian Van Horn who is poised to be one of the most successful male artists the elite program has helped to develop.  Van Horn has everything going for him – handsome stage presence, intelligent deployment of his attractive instrument, and the ability to be both menacing and sympathetic.

Another singer who has a lot going for her is Vivica Genaux. Who knows why we haven’t been treated to more of her artistry on the opera stage, but we are lucky that she is returning to Symphony Center in a Vivaldi-heavy program with her longtime collaborator Fabio Biondi, baroque violinist and conductor.  Genaux sings four Italian arias with the CSO, including the famous “Agitata da due venti” with its rapid fire coloratura – an aria she was born to sing.

Limited seating is available for a free concert by the charming La Caccina. They perform their program "Women in Love"  featuring new music by Matthew Harris, Micael McGlynn, Ysaye Barnwell, Carl Kennedy, David Lang, Emma Lou Diemer and includes the world premier of "I had no time to hate" by New Hampshire composer, Corey Santelmann at the Merit School of Music