Lyric Opera of Chicago was founded in 1954, and includes the oldest AGMA Chorus in Chicago. Lyric Opera Stage Artists are an integral part of what makes Lyric Opera of Chicago one of the 3 largest and most successful opera companies in the country. As the company grew from its inception, the presence of LOSA also expanded, and in 1994, the members of the Regular Chorus became full time employees. Currently, LOSA consists of 48 full time Regular Choristers and approximately 7 full time Production staff members. The number of LOSA members fluctuates with any given production to include All Principal Artists, 12 Core Supplementary Choristers plus up to 30 Supplementary Choristers, Ballet Dancers, Actors, Choreographers, Fight Directors and Production staff.
In 1994, the Chorus performed a joint concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, featuring works by Henryk Gorecki which was also recorded. There have been several PBS broadcasts of Lyric Opera performances dating back to the late 1970s, and most recently Gluck’s “Orfee et Euridice” (2017/18 season), featuring the Joffrey Ballet, and the 2015/16 season world premiere of Jimmy López’s opera “Bel Canto”, based on the Ann Patchett novel of the same name.
The Lyric Opera Chorus and members of stage management have traveled off site for concerts, most recently performing with Andrea Bocelli, at his request, at the United Center. In the program, it read, “The Lyric Opera Chorus is a vital component of the company, performing annually in a wide variety of repertoire. Under the direction of Michael Black, Lyric’s choristers have achieved international renown for their impressive sound, splendid musicianship, and vivid theatrical presence. ”
Members of LOSA have also participated in Lyric Opera’s American Musical Theater Initiative which began in 2013 with the production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!”, and included most recently the Rock Opera “Jesus Christ Superstar” by Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. In the Chicago Tribune, Chris Jones wrote in his review, “…crucially, beefing up the size of the vocal ensemble to include both Broadway singer – dancers and members of the Lyric Chorus. This massively expands the extant anthemic quality of the piece”…”and it’s musically thrilling”. “And there is no Broadway tour coming through this Chicago that could vocally match the multitudinous harmonics you can hear here. Not in this day and age.”