Lyric to forge a new “Ring”; ailing Boulez cancels CSO dates again

Sat Dec 21, 2013 at 3:39 pm

By Lawrence A. Johnson


* The Lyric Opera of Chicago announced that they will make an announcement Jan. 17 about a new production of Wagner’s Der Ring des Nibelungen to be presented at Lyric in an unspecified future season. There will also be news about an upcoming “Lyric premiere.” The company also announced that they will make their 2014-15 season announcement Jan. 27.

* To the surprise of no one, Pierre Boulez has canceled his February dates with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra due to unspecified “health issues.” The two programs, planned as a “Boulez Celebration,” are unchanged and will center on Stravinsky and Ravel. They will now be helmed by a trio of young and, hopefully, healthy conductors: Matthew Aucoin, Marcelo Lehninger and Cristian Macelaru who has had experience filling in for previous cancelled Boulez CSO appearances.

Boulez has played a great part in CSO history and its continued artistic success over the past quarter-century, but this is the third consecutive year that the 88-year-old composer-conductor has cancelled his Chicago dates. Without any diminishment of Boulez’s significant achievements with the CSO, it’s time to treasure the aging French master’s past accomplishments and turn the page on this relationship for the greater good of the orchestra.

* The CSO has launched a new online magazine. CSO Sounds & Stories is a multimedia magazine “designed to enhance the concert-going experience and to bring the CSO closer to music lovers worldwide.” The site will offer concert previews, program notes, and audio and video recordings, as well as original articles of interest to CSO concertgoers. Log on to

* David Herbert has made a clear impact in his first season with the CSO and it has been noticed. The CSO’s principal timpanist had been granted early tenure.

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One Response to “Lyric to forge a new “Ring”; ailing Boulez cancels CSO dates again”

  1. Posted Dec 21, 2013 at 4:18 pm by Roland Buck

    “The company also announced that they will make their 2014-15 season announcement Jan. 27.”

    Let us hope that after a two year lapse, they will once again include a Baroque opera in their program.

    The first opera that has survived, Peri’s Euridice, was premiered in Florence in 1600. After that, many great operas, including works by Monteverdi and Handel were composed and performed. For the Lyric to simply ignore over 150 years of opera in its repertoire screams of provincialism and is unworthy of a great opera company. What does it say of Chicago if one has to go to Milwaukee to see the performance of a full fledged Baroque opera?

    The first live opera performance of any kind that I ever attended was a performance way back in the 1960s of Monteverdi’s “The Coronation of Poppea.” I hope that the Lyric has not gone so badly downhill since that it insists on playing it safe by sticking to a routine 19th century repertoire.

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