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Posted by on Mar 24, 2011 in News | 0 comments



Featuring the People’s Opera Winner, Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cheryomushki,

The last opera in COT’s “Medea” trilogy, Handel’s Teseo,

And a new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute in the fall of 2012.

CHICAGO, IL – Brian Dickie announced the Chicago Opera Theater (COT) season for 2012, his last season as General Director.  The season opens in April of 2012 with the People’s Opera Winner of 2009, Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cheryomushki, followed by the concluding opera in COT’s “Medea” trilogy, Handel’s Teseo.  In September of 2012, for the first time in eleven years, COT will present an opera in the fall:  a new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.  Chicago Opera Theater’s 2012 Season will be presented at the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park.

“My love for Mozart, Handel, and the great 20th century composers was an overwhelming influence when planning the 2012 season, my last at COT,” said General Director Brian Dickie.  “I hope that my final season here encapsulates the characteristics that I have brought to Chicago Opera Theater in my 12 years with the company.”

Brian Dickie recently announced he was resigning as General Director of COT in August of 2012.  Moscow, Cheryomushki and Teseo will mark the 23rd and 24th Chicago premiere since Brian’s tenure began in 1999.

Dimitri Shostakovich’s Moscow, Cheryomushki was chosen as The Peoples’ Opera in 2009, a fundraising initiative where COT audiences picked from one of three operas to be performed in a future season.  This comedic operetta in three acts illuminates the trials of 20th-century urban Russia: sub-standard living conditions, chronic housing shortages, and love games.

COT will present the chamber orchestra version of the score, adapted and arranged by Shostakovich specialist and scholar Gerard McBurney, known in Chicago for his popular series “Beyond the Score” at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Resident Conductor Alexander Platt returns to Chicago Opera Theater for the first time since he led the critically acclaimed production of La Tragédie de Carmen in 2009.   Chicago Classical Review said “Alexander Platt conducted the chamber ensemble with incisiveness and flexibility, bringing out the clever felicities of Constant’s re-scoring, and providing firm dramatic momentum, the opera unfolding in a seamless arc.

Director Michael Donahue is making his COT debut.  His recent productions include Charles Mee’s Big Love at The Wild Project and Stairs to the Roof at the A.R.T. Institute, part of Diane Paulus’s America: Boom, Bust, and Baseball season.

The second production in the spring of 2012 is Handel’s Teseo. This marks the final opera in COT’s baroque trilogy devoted to the exploration of operas with Medea as a central character.  COT presented Cavalli’s Jason (Giasone) to great acclaim in 2010 (4 stars – Chicago Tribune) and will open the second opera of the trilogy, Charpentier’s Medea, on April 23, 2011.

Teseo was written in London by Handel at the age of twenty-eight.  In this final opera of the trilogy the wicked Medea is tormented by jealousy and resorts to her infamous magic spells.

Christian Curnyn returns for the final chapter of COT’s Medea trilogy.   Christian made his Chicago Opera Theater debut with last season’s Jason (Giasone).  The Tribune said of Jason that “(Curnyn) pumped new life into (this) baroque opera…nearly three hours in the theater flew by as if on winged feet.”  Christian made his North America debut with Partenope at the New York City Opera in 2010, and has also recently conducted at English National Opera, Opera Australia, and The Royal Opera at Covent Garden.

Chicago’s own Baroque Band is the orchestra for Teseo.  This period-instrument orchestra has been hailed by critics and audiences and has gained a reputation as one of the most exciting period-instrument ensembles in the United States.

James Darrah is returning to COT after directing Medea in his COT debut next month.  James’ upcoming work includes Shakespeare’s As You Like It for the new Harbor Stage Festival in Maine, of which he is Artistic Director. He is the recipient of a James Pendleton Foundation grant and the 2009 Princess Grace Award in Theater.

The final production of the 2012 Season is a new production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute, and marks the first time in eleven years that Chicago Opera Theater will present an opera in the fall.

This new production from the Canadian Opera Company, directed by COT favorite Diane Paulus, premiered to great acclaim this past January.  The Toronto Star commented that Diane “applied a light touch, allowing the enchantment of the music to weave its own spell.”  Diane was recently appointed Artistic Director of American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University.  She directs COT’s production of Death and the Powers, The Robots’ Opera opening April 2, 2011.

Magic Flute will re-team Diane with conductor Jane Glover for their eighth production with the company.  Jane is the Director of Opera at the Royal Academy of Music, and is also Music Director of Chicago’s Music of the Baroque.  The Chicago Sun-Times says “Her Mozart, though often mellow-edged and full of opulently sculpted swoops and leaps, is always light on its feet. Even at its most delicate, however, it is never fragile or brittle. The musical lace is spun from almost transparent but always unbreakable thread.”

Chicago Opera Theater performs at The Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park – 205 East Randolph Drive.

Season Subscriptions for the 2012 Season, which include a ticket to all three operas, range from $90-$345 for new Subscribers and $84-$330 for current 2011 Subscribers.  COT also offers a 50% discounted student rate in sections B, C, and D.

Subscriptions are available now by phone at 312.704.8414 or online Individual tickets to each production will go on sale in February 2012.

2012 Season

Dimitri Shostakovich


April 14, 20, 25 at 7:30pm; April 22 at 3pm

Conductor: Alexander Platt

Director: Michael Donahue

Set & Costume Designer: Anya Klepikov

Sung in English with English supertitles.

George Frideric Handel


April 21, 27, May 2 at 7:30pm; April 29 at 3pm

Conductor: Christian Curnyn

Director & Costume Designer:      James Darrah

Set Designer:                                    François-Pierre Couture

Sung in Italian with English supertitles.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


September 15, 19, 21 at 7:30pm; September 23 at 3pm

Conductor: Jane Glover

Director: Diane Paulus

Set & Costume Designer:            Myung Hee Cho

Sung in English with English supertitles.

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