News Column

Chicago Tribune John von Rhein column

July 29, 2013

YellowBrix

July 29--Even though Lyric Opera has yet to cast the starring roles in its new production of "The Sound of Music," it is announcing the names of two supporting singers and key members of the creative team that will mount the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical here next spring.

Soprano (and Illinois native) Christine Brewer will portray the Mother Abbess, and soprano Elizabeth Futral will assume the role of Baroness Elsa Schraeder. Both artists have sung with Lyric previously, Brewer as the Dyer's Wife in the 2007-08 production of Strauss' "Die Frau ohne Schatten," Futral last season as Musetta in Puccini's "La Boheme."

For its creative team, Lyric is relying on artists with solid Broadway and regional theater experience.

The conductor will be Rob Fisher, whose recent podium credits include "The Sound of Music" and "Carousel" at Carnegie Hall and Avery Fisher Hall, respectively. The stage director will be Marc Bruni, who has staged "Sound of Music" and five other musicals for the Muny in St. Louis. Both will be making Lyric debuts.

The sets and costumes will be designed by Michael Yeargan and Alejo Vietti, respectively. The choreography will be by Denis Jones. Michael Black, who will rejoin the Lyric music staff as chorus master next season, will prepare the chorus.

A company premiere, "The Sound of Music" will have 17 performances, April 25-May 11, at the Civic Opera House. It will be the second show (after "Oklahoma!") of Lyric's American musical theater initiative, a five-year cycle of the major Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals.

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(c)2013 the Chicago Tribune

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