Hosted by a Savvy Women’s Board
By Megan McKinney
There’s No Place Like Lyric, the name given to this fall’s Lyric Opera season opener is not merely a title pulled out of nowhere and attached to the 2022 opening gala. It is entirely true. There is no place like Chicago’s Lyric Opera House, originally The Civic Opera House,
When built, operagoers either loved the interior of Lyric or hated it. Designed by the architecturaI firm Graham, Anderson, Probst and White, successor to the great partnership of Daniel Burnham and John Wellborn Root, it followed the wishes of ultilities baron Samuel Insull, its British-born developer.
The arrangement of boxes in Insull’s Civic Opera House was unique. The former opera loving poor boy made certain his fellow tycoons watched the stage rather than each other. He forced the other moguls to sit in boxes arranged in only the slightest bit of a curve at the back of his opera house, where they and their wives were compelled to look toward the stage rather than at their peers in a horseshoe of neighboring boxes. They still are.
Above is an image of a Lyric audience on an ordinary week night during the season; however, there was nothing ordinary about the opening of the 2022 season.
The evening’s chair, Susan Morrison, a member of both Lyric’s Women’s Board and Board of Directors, center, arrived with her daughters and sons- in-law. Left are Patrick and Catherine Baudhuin and, right, Emily and Steven Krall.,
Next in the line-up of stars were Kimberly Taylor-Smith, Women’s Boad President Nancy Santi, Lyric Board member Karen Freeman-Wilson, who is also President and CEO of Chicago Urban League and Soprano Gabriella Reyes.
Lyric Board member Penelope Steiner arrived with with her daughter, Nicole Steiner,
Music Director Enrique Mazzola joined Board of Directors and Women’s Board member Nancy Searle, General Director, President & CEO Anthony Freud and Women’s Board member Lili Gaubin.
Women’s Board members Liz Stiffel and Karen Gray-Krehbiel were together. Karen is also a member of Lyric’s Board of Directors.
Former Board of Directors Chair David Ormesher and his wife, Sheila, continue to be stars of the red carpet.
Performances from Pianist Chris Reynolds with Soprano Gabriella Reyes . . .
. . . and Gabriella Reyes with Countertenor John Holliday delighted guests.
Photo Credit: Jaclyn Simpson and Robert Kusel