Chicago Opera Theater’s season comprises three productions, four shows each, as well as a few tie-ins and one-offs, on a budget of $2.9 million. By contrast, Lyric Opera of Chicago put on eight mainstage operas and one opera-size musical in its most recent fiscal year, totaling almost 100 performances, along with quite a lot of tie-ins and one-offs, on a budget just shy of $70 million. Sure, the different artistic goals of each company make this comparison apples-to-oranges (or maybe green-apples-to-red-apples), but how does COT do it?
I also played the role of photographer here. Equipment: iPhone.
Shunted discreetly behind a pillar in the Opera Club downstairs from the main lobby at the Civic Opera House, the mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato and I chat, out of sight of selfie-seeking groupies. She’s in town rehearsing for La Clemenza di Tito, the Mozart opera that began its run March 5th. We’re cramming our drink into the first intermission of opening night of Rusalka, which DiDonato is attending on her night off.
The photo that ran with this article shows only DiDonato. I have another one with her and me, taken by Nicholas Phan, no less.