Graham replaces Koch in Lyric “Troyens”; CSO reports another deficit year

Thu Oct 27, 2016 at 9:12 am

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Photo; Dario Acosta
Photo; Dario Acosta

Lyric Opera has a new Dido.

Sophie Koch has withdrawn from the company’s upcoming production of Berlioz’s Les Troyens for personal reasons, the company announced Wednesday.

The good news is that Susan Graham, a lauded exponent of French repertoire and Berlioz in particular, will take over Dido for this Chicago premiere. The American mezzo-soprano has sung the role to wide acclaim and was last heard at Lyric in 2010 in another Berlioz role, as Marguerite in La damnation de Faust. 

Les Troyens opens at Lyric Opera November 13.; 312-827-5600.


The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has posted a deficit of $1.1 million for its 2015-16 season, the organization’s sixth straight shortfall in as many years. That continues the CSO Association’s gradual whittling away at its deficit, from $1.3 million last year and $1.4 million in 2014.

In its 125th anniversary season, the orchestra had a record year for single-ticket CSO sales with $6 million in 2015-16. Orchestra concerts were at 80% capacity, and subscription renewals ran at a respectable 90% rate.

The CSO essentially held the line on operating expenses at $73 million ($72.7 million in 2015) but operating revenues were static as well at $71.9 million ($71.4 million in 2015), resulting in the lingering 2016 deficit.

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2 Responses to “Graham replaces Koch in Lyric “Troyens”; CSO reports another deficit year”

  1. Posted Oct 29, 2016 at 12:34 pm by Tod Verklärung

    The CSO financial status is an important issue despite the few lines it is given in the press. Granted these are difficult artistic times and some orchestras are much worse off. According to the Tribune, Jeff Alexander, President, apparently offers no detailed plans for reducing the deficit. The Orchestra has scrapped such things as “Beyond the Score” and “Afterworks Masterworks.” Where are the new ideas that might make the ensemble both more culturally relevant and fiscally sound? When will the possibility of a successor to Muti be discussed by a critic, with a 2020 end-date to his current contract, by which time he will be 79? All we read in the weekly program book is how wonderful everything is, “the best of all possible worlds.” Yes, the orchestra itself is wonderful, but it is a vehicle to what end? More concerts in Wheaton? No one says and no one with a public megaphone asks with the regularity and assertiveness required.

  2. Posted Nov 28, 2016 at 7:43 am by Tod Verklärung

    Regarding the CSO’s attempts to reduce its deficit, there is now another story which the local press has failed to report. I’d be interested to know whatever result came from the contract negotiations between the administration and the professional chorus and any possible diminution in the much deserved and much lauded artistic quality of the chorus that might be expected as a result of any changes in their compensation.

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