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CHICAGO (8/28/2019) – Verdi’s heart-wrenching romantic drama follows a pair of star-crossed lovers who are driven apart by one man’s selfish plot. The battle between passionate love and violent jealousy is set to thrilling, electrifying music.
 
The thrill of discovery: A new-to-Chicago production and Lyric’s first presentation in more than three decades of this early Verdi gem.
 
Disastrous deceit: Fake names, treacherous rumors, counterfeit letters, and more — the tragic cousin of a Gilbert-and-Sullivan plot.
 
Innovative for its time: Considered the transition work leading into Verdi’s “middle period,” Luisa Miller combines bel canto with Parisian opera and traditional structure with new musical concepts.
 
Clashing of the classes: Verdi often exposed class struggles in his work, and this opera is no exception, as the lovers are torn asunder by their fathers’ fortunes.
 
Devastatingly beautiful music: Strategic compositional choices add depth to the tragedy, including the tenor hit “Quando le sere al placido.”
 
First installment of Lyric’s Early Verdi Series: Future seasons will explore more of the composer’s less-familiar operas.
 
Italian opera in experienced hands: Bel canto specialist Enrique Mazzola returns to Lyric to conduct Luisa Miller, with Michael Black as chorus master.
 
A stylized, traditional production: The spare but evocative period setting moves the story from the early 17th century into Verdi’s era in the 1800s. Francesca Zambello directs the production designed by Michael Yeargan (sets), Dunya Ramicova (costumes), and Mark McCullough (lighting).
 
Emotionally charged characters: The desperately hopeful but doomed couple Luisa and Rodolfo are portrayed by Krassimira Stoyanova and Joseph Calleja. Ryan Opera Center alumni Quinn Kelsey and Christian Van Horn are the strict fathers Miller and Count Walter, respectively. Soloman Howard makes his Lyric debut as Walter’s conniving retainer Wurm, and Alisa Kolosova plays Duchess Federica, to whom Rodolfo is engaged.
 
Six performances: October 12, 16, 20, 25, 28, 31 (performances in bold are matinees).
 
2 hours and 45 minutes, including 1 intermission — shorter than some movies.
 
Sung in Italian with English translations projected above the stage.
 
For more information and to order tickets, go to lyricopera.org/luisamiller or call 312-827-5600.
 
For information about pre-performance dining options at Lyric, visit lyricopera.org/dining to learn about on-site restaurants, beverage service, and more.
 

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