If you're like most parents, you probably haven't considered a night at the opera for your next family outing. But the Lyric Opera of Chicago wants to change your mind about that.
On Dec. 2, Lyric is hosting "Popcorn & Pasquale," its first family event for kids 5-12 and their parents.
"I'd love to encourage people to give us a try, and Popcorn & Pasquale is the perfect opportunity to find out what opera's all about," says Anthony Freud, general director for the Lyric Opera. "What I'm really excited about is that the event gives them not only a taste, but the real thing."
The 70-minute show will be the fully staged Don Pasquale opera in the opera house, complete with the cast, costumes, orchestra and set. But the performance will be an abridged version, narrated by Chicago actor Ross Lehman.
"It's going to be a guided tour," Freud says. "Ross will talk to the audience about what the singers do, what the technicians do, and really introduce them to the experience of opera in all sorts of ways."
The family event is part of the new Lyric Unlimited program to reach new audiences, Freud says. "I'm very passionate about ensuring that the cultural service Lyric provides is as broad and deep as possible. I want us to work tirelessly to reach new audiences, new ages, new people from different walks of life."
Lyric also has collaborated with another Chicago cultural institution-Second City-to create "The Second City Guide to the Opera," a show Freud says could make a great date night for parents.
"It's an unexpected partnership," he says. "It's going to catch people's imaginations. It's very humorous, irreverent, but also meaningful. Hopefully it will introduce people to the art form, entertain, and make them laugh at the same time."
For more information and to buy tickets, visit lyricopera.org.
Liz DeCarlo is the senior editor at Chicago Parent.
See more of Liz's stories here.