Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2021-09-01
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

LGBTQ members of Lyric Opera of Chicago's Ryan Opera Center perform online
by Scott C. Morgan
2021-03-08

This article shared 1937 times since Mon Mar 8, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Lyric Opera of Chicago was forced to scrap its season of live performances in favor of filmed online concerts. And in many of those presentations, the featured performers were from the Lyric's Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center Ensemble.

The Ryan Opera Center is an in-demand artist-development program, affectionately likened by one performer as a "glorified internship for opera singers." More than 400 global artists audition each year for about 13 spots in the program which offers specialized language lessons, one-on-one vocal coaching and valuable stage time for singers in smaller parts and as understudies.

But in 2020, Ryan Opera Center performers suddenly had to switch from singing live and un-amplified before thousands in an opera house down to the closeups of a video camera. The next online Lyric concert is called Magical Music Around the World, debuting on March 21 as the Ryan Opera Center's annual gala performance.

A few Ryan Opera Center artists who identify as part of the LGBTQ community agreed to be interviewed about their experiences this past year. Not only do they appreciate the employment when so many other artists have been unable to work, but they are also happy to be in such an inclusive environment.

Texas native and tenor Martin Luther Clark is a first-year ensemble member. Though Clark is still waiting to make his Lyric stage debut, he has been prominently featured in online Lyric performances like Lawrence Brownlee & Friends and Sole e Amore.

"Being in front of a camera and not having the connection with an audience just forces you as an artist to create the energy for yourself," Clark said. "The camera up close catches so many things and it has really taught me to explore more of my image and how I want to present myself."

Clark joked that the online performances gave himself permission to do more clothes shopping. But he's also enjoyed working with Ryan Opera Center music director Craig Terry on repertoire that would play well for the camera.

"[Terry] challenged me to go back to some of my gospel and R&B roots," Clark said. "I found ways of that influencing my classical singing with all the passion and the love."

Also from Texas is mezzo-soprano Kathleen Felty, a second-year ensemble member who made her Lyric debut last season in as Laura Verdi's Luisa Miller.

Felty is grateful that the Lyric found a way to safely film these concerts amid the risks of COVID-19. That's because the virus has tended to attack the lungs — extremely vital organs for an opera signer.

Felty also liked how the Lyric was able to choose its online content as a response to recent movements that have called for more inclusion. Typically opera companies plan out their season up to four years in advance, so the need for online concerts allowed for the Lyric to explore more diverse areas of the repertoire.

"They've shifted this year to wanting to incorporate the focus on adding more lesser-known pieces by composers of color and female composers," Felty said. "That's a fantastic way to go back in and look at things that were overlooked."

Felty is also happy to know that the Lyric has welcomed and employed many LGBTQ singers before, such as soprano Patricia Racette, mezzo-sopranos Jamie Barton and Jill Grove, and countertenor Anthony Roth Costanzo.

"This is the first space that I've been out and felt completely accepted and at home with like-minded individuals with similar values," said Felty about the Lyric.

Minnesota native and bass Anthony Reed is a second-year ensemble member who made his Lyric debut last season as a prison guard in Dead Man Walking. Reed is also thankful for the Lyric's welcoming environment, and for all the Ryan Opera Center's great training.

"I'm grateful that I have come up in a generation where the groundwork has been laid for me to be able to live free and proud," Reed said.

For example, Reed highlighted how one of his bosses, Lyric general director Anthony Freud, is not only out, but also married to his longtime partner, freelance dramaturg Colin Ure.

Reed feels blessed that he and the other Ryan Opera Center artists have been able to continue their training through the pandemic. And though he misses live audiences, Reed is glad that the Lyric has found some ways for its artists to perform.

"Opera is not necessarily made to be in close-ups," Reed said. "It's one of the few remaining acoustic art forms. That's what makes it special, but these recording projects have helped us as artists to realize that we have to adapt for the times."

Magical Music Around the World premieres online on YouTube and Facebook at 6 p.m Sunday, March 21. For more information, or to see Ryan Opera Center artists in other online Lyric Opera of Chicago concerts, visit lyricopera.org .


This article shared 1937 times since Mon Mar 8, 2021
facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

R. Kelly found guilty of racketeering 2021-09-27
- On Sept. 27, a federal jury in Brooklyn convicted embattled R&B singer R. Kelly of racketeering by a federal jury in Brooklyn, the US Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of New York said, according to ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Moulin Rouge!,' gay play 'The Inheritance' win top Tonys 2021-09-27
- Moulin Rouge! The Musical was the runaway winner at the Tony Awards on Sept. 26, snagging 10 awards. Among its honors were Best Musical, Best Performance By an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical ...


Gay News

MOVIES 24-hour horror marathon at Music Box on Oct. 23-24 2021-09-24
- "The Music Box of Horrors," sponsored by CreepyCo., will return to the Music Box Theatre, 3733 N. Southport Ave., from noon on Saturday, Oct. 23 through noon on Sunday, Oct. 24. The event will include special ...


Gay News

'Firebird' opens Reeling Chicago LGBTQ+ Internat'l Film Fest tonight 2021-09-23
--From a press release - CHICAGO, Illinois — Tonight, the 39th annual Reeling: The Chicago LGBTQ+ International Film Festival invites audiences to enjoy an in-person pre-party and theater screening of 'Firebird' for Opening Night at the Music Box Theater. Director P ...


Gay News

MUSIC ROUNDUP: Riot Fest rocks and rolls with the punches 2021-09-22
- Riot Fest is a massive music festival held annually at Chicago's Douglas Park, held this year on Sept. 16-19 Usually a three-day celebration, Riot held a preview party Sept.16 that began at 2:30 p.m. for the ...


Gay News

LGBTQ+ lullaby album to be released Oct. 28 2021-09-22
- Broadway Records announced the impending release of The Rainbow Lullaby—which the label said is "the world's first LGBTQ lullaby album." The album will be available Thursday, Oct. 28, wherever digital music is sold and on BroadwayRecords.com. ...


Gay News

Pitchfork Music Festival returns and turns 15 in 2021 2021-09-17
- Pitchfork Music Festival turned 15 years old in Chicago this year after being cancelled last year because of the pandemic. This lively celebration of eclectic music continued in the same spot (Union Park) with the usual ...


Gay News

'Andersonville Homecoming' Sept. 24-26; line-up, vendors, safety protocols announced 2021-09-15
--From a press release - CHICAGO (Sept. 15, 2021) — The Andersonville Chamber of Commerce (ACC) is pleased to announce the full entertainment line-up and vendors for Andersonville Homecoming--a three-night, two-day outdoor festival featuring ...


Gay News

Students urged to apply for Musical Theatre Awards 2021-09-14
- Broadway in Chicago is inviting high schools across Illinois to participate in the 11th Annual Illinois High School Musical Theatre Awards. These awards celebrate excellence in high school theater throughout the state. Beginning Thursday, Sept. 16, ...


Gay News

CAIC announces 2021 Collaborative Works Festival, immigration, migration in song 2021-09-13
--From a press release - CHICAGO— Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago (CAIC) begins its eleventh anniversary season with its annual Collaborative Works Festival, held in venues around Chicago from October 6—9, 2021. The 2021 Collaborative ...


Gay News

MUSIC Lil Nas X wins top award at MTV VMAs 2021-09-13
- The MTV VMA Awards took place Sept. 12—and an LGBTQ+ artist took home one of the night's top awards. Lil Nas X won Video of the Year for "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)," besting Cardi ...


Gay News

SHOWBIZ 'Boy Meets Boy,' Jennifer Hudson, 'SVU,' tennis honor, ABBA 2021-09-12
- Ariztical Entertainment is releasing the German movie Boy Meets Boy on DVD and VOD on Oct. 26. According to a press release, the plot of the 70-minute movie is as follows: "Harry has been partying for ...


Gay News

Pride Fest will extend to Oct. 3; headliners include Kristine W and Mya 2021-09-12
- Mya, Shangela, VINCINT, Crystal Waters, Kristine W, Brooke Eden and St. Panther are among the headliners for Chicago Pride Fest now taking place over three days, Oct. 1-3, in Chicago's LGBTQ+ landmark Northalsted/Lake View district. The ...


Gay News

THEATER 'Dear Mom, I'm Gay!' on Oct. 1-2 2021-09-11
- Dear Mom, I'm Gay!—a workshop of a new musical by David Dilsizian—is running at The Jarvis Square Theater, 1439 W. Jarvis Ave. It will take place at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 1; and 2 and ...


Gay News

ARC Music Festival debuts in Chicago over Labor Day Weekend 2021-09-11
- Replacing North Coast Music Festival's usual spot in Union Park, ARC Music Festival launched Sept. 4-5. North Coast was forced to move to SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview, Illinois, that same weekend to a stadium that was ...


 



Copyright © 2021 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.