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Lyric Opera, Second City returning in June

The Second City’s collaboration with the Lyric Opera is returning to the Civic Opera House stage, this time with the audience in tow.

Following up on Saturday’s sold-out, well-received performance of “The Second City Guide to the Opera,” the Lyric announced Tuesday that the show will be reprised with new material for an extended run in June, after the opera company’s season has ended. The twist is that not only will the performers be on stage, but so will the audience, who will be seated cabaret style. A Lyric spokeswoman said the stage should accommodate about 300 audience members.

“To do all that work and do a show like that for one audience would be a crime,” Second City Executive Vice President Kelly Leonard said. “We didn’t just create a show; we created an artistic language between these organizations. Let’s keep using it.”

Leonard added that although the summer version will share much material with Saturday night’s performance, it will have a different, more intimate feel. He and Lyric general director Anthony Freud said the move to the Civic stage should be transformative.

“As they look into the 3,600-seat opera house, they’ll be doing so from the vantage point of the hundreds of hundreds of great singers who have performed here since 1929,” Lyric general director Anthony Freud said in a statement.

The cast and specific dates and times have yet to be announced for this mixture of opera-themed Second City sketches and musical performances, but the personnel is expected to mirror Saturday’s lineup, with two opera singers augmenting a Second City ensemble of typically six players). Lyric creative consultant/soprano Renee Fleming and actor Patrick Stewart, who co-hosted Saturday’s event, will not participate.

The two organizations also have discussed a touring version of “The Second City Guide to the Opera,” though no plans have been solidified.

Web sales for the June performances are set to open Jan. 23 at, with tickets priced at $35 and $45 plus VIP seats for $75.
Twitter @MarkCaro

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