LOSA Outreach: Aussie Edition

Choristers from the Lyric Opera of Chicago take their bow after staging a benefit concert in support of the Bushfire Relief Fund of the Australian Red Cross.

A little good news from a grateful heart. It is in times like we are currently facing that it is good to think back on the good and positive things to keep us grateful. That seems challenging right now amidst the uncertainty and chaos that COVID-19 has brought to the world over the past few weeks. However, I would like to tell you about a few very good and positive things to think on!

Although it has been a very busy part of the season with performances and rehearsals for Madama Butterfly, Pique Dame, and Götterdammerung, we managed to squeeze in a couple of our outreach concerts at Fourth Presbyterian Noonday Series and Westminster Place. Both received with much joy!

At L.O.S.A.’s Bushfire Relief Concert, attendees were treated to a bag of Aussie-Themed goodies, and special discounts to Lyric Opera of Chicago’s production of ’42nd Street’ and ‘Blue’.

Most recently, the Lyric Opera Stage Artists partnered with our Chorus Master Michael Black, a native of Australia, and Noah Lindquist, our Assistant Chorus Master/ Rehearsal Pianist, as well as historic Second Presbyterian Church in Chicago’s South Loop to offer a concert benefiting the Australian Red Cross in their effort to bring support and disaster relief to people and communities affected by the massive bushfires. Not only did we receive assistance from Second Pres, but also from Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Australian Consulate-General, WFMT host Robbie Ellis, and our singers from the Lyric Opera Chorus, especially Nik Wenzel who provided our live streaming and recording of the concert, and Stage Manager, Rachel Henneberry who all volunteered their time and talents. And I dare not forget to mention all those who came out to offer support, donations, and hear our concert of opera chorus favorites, plus an encore of the unofficial Australian Anthem “I Still Call Australia Home.” It was a wonderful and uplifting evening and we raised over $5000 between donations at the concert and online donations!

We are always so happy to bring music and smiling faces to those who can no longer attend performances at Lyric Opera due to health or transportation issues. We have spent the past 2 ½ years singing outreach concerts at senior living facilities and serving those in need through Grace Place Homeless Ministry and Greater Chicago Food Depository, among others.

Our connections with our communities are so important to our mission. We look forward to a healthier time when we can resume those outreach efforts, when all bans on senior living and other facilities are lifted. We miss our friends! Until then, we will keep thinking of you all and will look forward to returning to see your smiling faces!