Ryan Opera Center Goes to Hollywood

By Judy Carmack Bross with Daniel Bender



A musical mix of classic opera arias and Hollywood musical numbers provided by Ryan Opera Center stars and powerful pianists provided a gala of movie memories and raised over $200,000. Created to develop and nurture the next generation of opera stars who will be placed with opera companies around the world including the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Ryan Opera Center provides stipends so that the gifted singers with brilliant futures can dedicate their full attention to their craft. There are 13 students in this year’s program who will study a year while participating in Lyric’s operas.

Ryan Opera ensemble pianists Chris Reynolds (r) and Donald Lee III (l) opened the program with moving piano pieces for four hands

Craig Terry, the Ryan Opera Center Music Director triumphed as the MC of the evening entitled “The Ryan Opera Center Goes to Hollywood”.  Frank Modrusan and Lynne Shigley served as the evening’s chair with Patrick and Shirley Ryan as premier sponsors.

Mezzo-soprano Katherine DeYoung accompanied by Ryan Opera Center music director and Emcee for the evening, Craig Terry, brought Hollywood movie themes to life.

Denis Vèlez (soprano)moved the audience with her presentation.

Ryan Opera board member David Fox told us:  “In my view, the Lyric Opera is one of the finest opera companies in the world. I believe as well that it is vital to the future of opera that we support and nurture young, aspiring opera singers like those who are members of the Ryan Opera Center. My wife, Janet, and I are grateful for the opportunity to support and get to know these young singers who will become the future stars of opera across the world.”

baritone Ricardo Jose Rivera

Selected annually for over 400 exceptionally talented emerging artists from around the globe, the Ryan Opera Center Ensemble members receive comprehensive training and advanced instruction in numerous aspects of operatic performance including voice lessons and coaching, language and acting training and master classes with some of opera’s most renowned artists. During Lyric Opera’s mainstage season, Ryan Opera Center members perform and understudy a significant number of principal and supporting roles, receiving the extraordinary opportunity to work with the world’s greatest opera singers, conductors, directors, orchestra, and chorus. They also gain valuable performing experience by participating in recitals and concerts at many Chicago-area venues.

Their training and placement in Opera companies around the world brings credit and renown to the Lyric Opera of Chicago and insures that Chicago will continue be one of the most revered opera stages.