Lyric Opera of Chicago has a long and illustrious history. Over the past few years they've started to do a few Broadway musicals in their repertoire, I assume because they're more guaranteed moneymakers. I saw Sweeney Todd there about five years ago with the great Welsh tenor Bryn Terfel. (It was quite good, though the production faltered a bit with the casting of Mrs. Lovett. It calls for an actress who's as much a comedian as a great singer.) And though it's a musical, it's as much as opera in style, given that it's mostly sung.
Last year, they did Show Boat. That's a borderline choice, though I suppose it falls into the light opera category.
Starting this Saturday, the Lyric will be putting on Oklahoma! I'd love to see their production, that I do think that that's more of a stretch. It's not an opera, period. In fact, it's considered the first modern musical, for how it integrated songs, dance and story. I guess that "integration" and classic nature gives it some credentials, but it's still a stretch.
Anyway, the larger point here is that the great classical music station in Chicago, WFMT, always broadcasts of the opening night of each new Lyric Opera production, and this is no exception. So, if you'd like to hear their version of Oklahoma!, it airs tonight (Saturday) at 7:15 PM, Chicago time. (That's 5:15 PM in Los Angeles, and 8:15 PM in New York.) The singing won't likely start right off, they usually have a host doing background and interviews.
But for thems that are interested, here's the link to WFMT. Just click the "Listen Live" button in the big blue bart at the top, when you get there. (A pop-up window will open, and have a brief announcement before the airplay begins.) Or just go to www.WFMT.org when it's time.
Bonus Note: For those who don't know the station, WFMT is not just impressively high quality and wonderfully programed, but it's unique -- though a commercial station, they don't accept recorded advertising. All ads on the station have to be rewritten so they can be read by their announcers. It's less jolting to the tone of the music and fits in smoothly. The challenge is that they have to charge sponsors less for ad time. A couple decades back, they were losing too much revenue and briefly added some recorded advertising -- but the uproar from listeners were so profound that they soon changed back...but with a caveat: they still couldn't afford to lose the money from lower ad rates, so to make it up, they began the Fine Arts Circle and have on-air fundraising drives, just like public non-commercial stations. And the Chicago public (and now, Internet listeners from all over) become "members" of the station. By the way, WFMT fund drives -- not just for the station, but also for the Chicago Symphony and Lyric Opera -- are wonderfully run and, bizarrely, entertaining to listen to, with guests and great, special giveaways. Even if you don't listen to the Lyric's Oklahoma!, WFMT is a great station to bookmark.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor