Standard

Backstage at the Lyric

We lost an hour due to daylight savings, and consequently were lethargic when we had to drag ourselves out of bed in the morning. But it was a beautiful morning out – bright blue skies, balmy at 60 odd degrees (and this is Chicago in March!!!!!!!!).

We drove downtown, parked by work, and strolled to the Lyric Opera House where we’d signed up for the backstage tour. Hehe, nerdy I know, but it was a ton of fun!

We were very impressed with how well organized the tour was. There were a total of 600 people who had signed up for the tour, and we were broken up into groups of 25 that were brought around by volunteer guides with staggered start times of 7 minutes. The guides kept a strict eye on their watches too, and shuttled us efficiently from station to station where other volunteers or Lyric staff would share tidbits about their area of expertise or departments.

From March 2012 Lyric Back Stage

While waiting for our group number (#4) to be called, we played around with some props. Not sure what production these came from; some of the props date back to the late 19th century, from other opera houses prior to the Lyric!

From March 2012 Lyric Back Stage

First stop on the tour: box seats. Wow. What a fantastic view of the stage!!! Totally jealous.

From March 2012 Lyric Back Stage

Art Deco interior

From March 2012 Lyric Back Stage

This was the wardrobe stop. I’m not sure what production this costume was from, but I want to say it’s like the dress Fredica von Stade wore in La Cenerentola.

From March 2012 Lyric Back Stage

Our station master showing us how the costumes are designed such that it fits people up to 4 different sizes. The backs are usually laced (if the dress is too tight for the singer, they need not even lace it up, but just throw a shawl over to cover up, heh). This is Aida’s dress in the still on-going production of Aida.

From March 2012 Lyric Back Stage

Since the season is winding up already, Lyric has already started to work on the wardrobe for next season. Ramon Vargas’ costume for Werther! Too bad we didn’t see Anna Netrebko’s costume for La Boheme hehe.

From March 2012 Lyric Back Stage

Queen of the Night costume in this season’s production of Magic Flute

From March 2012 Lyric Back Stage

The wig department! Here’s Amneris’ wig. Our station master explained that everyone on stage – including the choristers and supernumeraries, usually have to wear a wig of some kind. Every single wig is individually made to order, using precise measurements of an individual’s head. It takes about 40 hours to make a single wig, which can cost upwards of $2000.

From March 2012 Lyric Back Stage

Wigs for the choristers in Show Boat

From March 2012 Lyric Back Stage

Nathan Gunn’s head block, hehe. It was used this season to make his wig for Show Boat

From March 2012 Lyric Back Stage

The choristers’ dressing room. They are considered “theatrical professionals” and are thus in charge of their own make up, whereas make up artists do the make up for the stars and the supernumeraries.

From March 2012 Lyric Back Stage

We got to check out a tiny bit of the collection of the armory. Here’s the noose that was used in last season’s Girl of the Golden West.

From March 2012 Lyric Back Stage

The stage knife used in last season’s Macbeth. Jeff’s fingers conceals a sac which when pressed causes fake blood to flow copiously from the blade.

From March 2012 Lyric Back Stage

We got to go down to the pit and stand on the conductor’s stand! And here’s the prompter’s box – not for the claustrophobic!

From March 2012 Lyric Back Stage

View of the house from the stage. What a view!

From March 2012 Lyric Back Stage

Aida’s tomb. That show will go on tomorrow night

From March 2012 Lyric Back Stage

The back stage is crammed with props from both Aida and the recently concluded Show Boat. The Lyric’s stage, while not the widest, is the tallest in the world.

Advertisements

One thought on “Backstage at the Lyric

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s