Henson Keys (AKA "actfive") is a Chicago-based actor and director who fell in love with opera while working for the Met Ticket Service in NYC in the early 80's. An Equity actor since 1974, he has performed in over 130 roles in New York and regional repertory including 46 productions of Shakespeare. From 1999-2015 he was Chair of Acting Programs at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, having previously led programs at Ohio University and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. He also writes opera CD/DVD reviews for Opera News.
Lyric Opera of Chicago has brought back its wildly successful 2019 production of West Side Story, directed by Francesca Zambello. I thought it was terrific back then and, even with numerous cast changes, it was just as terrific on Sunday afternoon.
Following the great success of its new piece The Factotum, Lyric Opera of Chicago returned to the tried and true with the audience-pleaser Carmen in an equally tried and true 20-year old Lyric production that has stood the test of time.
Director Barrie Kosky brings to Fiddler on the Roof fascinating ideas, fine casting, equal mixes of comedy and sadness, and, from the beginning, a sense for we of the audience that we were about to spend three hours in very good hands.
Lyric Opera of Chicago scored a smashing success on Sunday with its “Verdi Voices” concert, featuring soprano Tamara Wilson, tenor Russell Thomas, and Lyric Music Director Enrique Mazzola conducting Members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra in what might be termed a program of Verdi’s Greatest Hits.