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Lyric Opera's The Sound of Music Announces Principal Casting & Extension
Jan 21, 2014

The Sound of MusicLyric Opera of Chicago General Director Anthony Freud announced today that two major Broadway and TV performers - Jenn Gambatese and Edward Hibbert - have been cast in the new production and company premiere of Rodgers and Hammerstein's iconic The Sound of Music, to be presented at the Civic Opera House, 20 N. Wacker Drive, in Chicago, this spring.

Plus, Lyric is proud to announce 8 additional performances of The Sound of Music, which opens Friday, April 25, and now continues through Sunday, May 18 (including 13 matinees) at the Civic Opera House. The official press opening will be Sunday, April 27 at 1:30 p.m. Tickets start at $29, and are now available at or at 312-827-5600. Tickets for the extended week are on sale now!

"We are excited to confirm two exceptional cast members who will all be making Lyric Opera debuts: Jenn Gambatese as Maria and Edward Hibbert as impresario Max Detweiler," said Freud. "Until recently, Ms. Gambatese starred as Glinda in the national tour of the hit musical Wicked and has an impressive list of leading roles on Broadway including creating the roles of Natalie in All Shook Up and Jane in Disney's Tarzan: The Musical." said Freud. "Mr. Hibbert is a Broadway veteran - recently appearing in The Drowsy Chaperone and Curtains - and is known to audiences around the world for his droll portrayal of food critic Gil Chesteron on NBC's hit TV series Frasier."

Lyric Opera also now confirms that Duane Schuler as lighting designer for this production, who has designed countless operatic and theatrical productions at Lyric and internationally. Previously announced members of the creative team are Emmy-nominated conductor Rob Fisher, who has worked extensively on Broadway and beyond. Director Marc Bruni has directed the newly opened Broadway production of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical. He has also directed The Sound of Music - for which he won the Kevin Kline Award for Direction - and five other major musicals for the Muny in St. Louis. Set designer Michael Yeargan has won Tony Awards for two Broadway productions and has created numerous acclaimed opera productions internationally. Costume designer Alejo Vietti, whose designs are currently featured on Broadway in Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, has done extraordinary work with major theater and opera companies all over America. Choreographer Denis Jones has an extensive and impressive resume as a performer and choreographer in The Full Monty, Damn Yankees, Chicago, Legally Blonde, and more.

Previously announced cast members include international opera stars Christine Brewer and Elizabeth Futral, starring as the Mother Abbess and Elsa Shraeder. Brewer is a Grammy Award winner who wowed Lyric audiences in Die Frau ohne Schatten in the 2007-08 season and is hailed internationally for her glorious voice. Futral, an alumna of Lyric's Ryan Opera Center, is a longtime Lyric favorite who most recently charmed as Musetta in La Boheme in the 2012-13 season.

In addition to the stellar cast, 37 members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra will perform with a 25-member ensemble (including 12 members of the Lyric Opera Chorus). Lyric chorus master Michael Black will prepare the chorus for this company premiere, which marks the second work in Lyric's American Musical Theater Initiative.

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