Lyric Opera to present Lang Lang next May

Wed Jul 20, 2011 at 9:59 am

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Lang Lang

Continuing its venture into non-operatic events, the Lyric Opera of Chicago will present Lang Lang next May after the close of the regular opera season.

The celebrated Chinese pianist will perform a solo recital May 12 on the stage of the Civic Opera House that will include Chopin’s Etudes, Bach’s Partita No. 1 and Schubert’s Piano Sonata in B flat, D.960.

“I am honored and thrilled to have an opportunity to perform at the Civic Opera House, the home of the legendary Lyric Opera of Chicago,” Lang Lang said in a statement released by the company. “My longtime fascination with opera and its power to transform reality has, in a way, informed my own piano playing. I have been trying to channel the same degree of passion and intensity into my performances, and I see this recital as my tribute to this highly compelling genre.”

The Lyric is billing this as Lang Lang’s “opera-house debut,” which is not the case. The pianist performed at least twice previously on opera stages: this past June at the Sydney Opera House and last fall at Santa Fe Opera in an event presented by the Santa Fe Concert Association. (The company has corrected the error in a subsequent revised release.)

The 3,500-seat Ardis Krainik Theatre is a cavernous venue for a solo instrumental recital. To mitigate the distant sight lines, a video camera above the stage will project Lang Lang’s hands on a large screen above the stage.

Incoming general director Anthony Freud said in a statement that such events as the recital — and the Lyric’s controversial venture into musical theater — is part of his “larger vision” for the company.

“Having this brilliant pianist play on the stage of the Ardis Krainik Theatre next spring is just the sort of event that Lyric Opera seeks to present outside the regular opera season and repertoire,” said Freud. “Offering exceptional non-operatic performances by the world’s finest artists to our audience fits the larger vision for this company shared by Lyric’s creative consultant Renée Fleming, music director Sir Andrew Davis, and myself.”

Tickets for Lang Lang’s recital range from $25 to $125, with premium-priced tickets for $500 including a post-concert reception with the artist. Tickets go on sale to Lyric subscribers July 22 and to the general public August 1.; 312-332-2244

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3 Responses to “Lyric Opera to present Lang Lang next May”

  1. Posted Jul 21, 2011 at 2:43 pm by eddie

    Better sit close for this one. Bet it will be miked.

  2. Posted Jul 21, 2011 at 6:33 pm by Harold Kupper

    I often wondered why the Civic Opera House was dormant for so much of the off-season.
    This is wonderful news for Chicago classical music lovers!

  3. Posted Jul 24, 2011 at 10:01 am by Paul Cohan

    Is any major performer on the scene today more concerned with money and celeberity than Lang Lang?

    Perhaps when his recital is done in this oversized setting, he can venture down to Orchestra Hall the followng day (May 13) and see what a real artist looks like: Maurizio Pollini.

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