Tag: Florencia en el Amazonas

A New Maestro in Town



By Judy Carmack Bross




When we spoke via zoom on a rainy morning at the Glyndebourne Festival Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s new Music Director Enrique Mazzola showed us what he never travels without, an oversized leather-bound opera score and a sharp pencil.

9/13/19 4:49:49 AM — The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s next music Director Enrique Mazzola. © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2019

9/13/19 4:49:49 AM — The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s next music Director Enrique Mazzola. © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2019

Not unlike his pre-COVID schedule, Mazzola has flown back and forth from England where he led London’s Philharmonic to Berlin, Amsterdam, and Paris, often for the day, and always with his big black book. He even led a master class in Moscow. As musicians, there were more travel exemptions made by EU governments. “There is so much waiting at the gate, it is a good time to practice and I take out my pencil and study the score.”

 He proudly pointed out that day that it was the score for Sir David McVicar’s new production of Verdi’s Macbeth which he will be conducting at the Lyric Opera September 17 through October 9.

Macbeth, sketch by John Macfarlane

Mazzola is only the third Music Director for the Lyric, following the tenures of Sir Andrew Davis and the late Bruno Bartoletti.

5/9/19 2:33:58 PM — Chicago, IL nLyric Opera ChicagonPortraits of Sir Andrew Davis and Anthony Freundnn© Todd Rosenberg Photography 2019

“It is really the greatest honor of my life to follow two great conductors, Bartoletti and Maestro Davis. To be the Director of one of the world’s major music institutions and to be sharing the experiences of my predecessors is extraordinary.

“I want to know Chicago and its citizens.  I love taking the bus, and getting to meet new people.  I love walking around in Chicago learning the different neighborhoods.  I want to know what it is like to be a Chicagoan. It is terrific to have been adopted by Chicago.”

9/13/19 4:22:22 AM — The Lyric Opera of Chicago’s General Director Anthony Freud and next music director Enrique Mazzola. nn. © Todd Rosenberg Photography 2019

Enrique Mazzola, Anthony Freud, and Sir Andrew Davis

Photo: Kyle Flubacker

When the Lyric was unable to present live performances at the opera house due to COVID, he collaborated with favorite Lyric artists, ensemble members of the Patrick G. and Shirley W. Ryan Opera Center, and members of the Lyric’s orchestra and chorus, emphasizing his strong commitment to education.

“We are opening now after 18 months, we have a grand audience. We want opera for the City, we want to be a center for culture and the arts.


Photo: Ken Howard/ San Diego Opera

The Magic Flute

Photo: Cory Weaver/ LA Opera

Florencia en el Amazonas

Photo: Lynn Lane/ Houston Grand Opera

Fire Shut Up In My Bones

Photo: Eric Woolsey/ Opera Theatre St. Louis

“ McVicar’s Macbeth is entirely a new concept, a new production, and his feel for action and costume is amazing. It is dark and scary of course. It is a true picture of a very dark time in political history.  McVicar , as a Scot, delves deeply in how to read Shakespeare.  It is interesting that Verdi also takes us to the borderline of what is reality and what is metaphysical.”

The Elixir of Love