Lyric Opera of Chicago's general director Anthony Freud announced today the principal casting and production team for the company premiere and new production of Oklahoma! to be presented in May.
"This Pulitzer Prize-winning musical by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II – their debut collaboration – marks its 70th anniversary in 2013 and is one of the greatest American musical stage works," Freud noted. "We are delighted to have Oklahoma! make its Lyric Opera debut in a new production by Gary Griffin as part of Lyric's American Musical Theater Initiative. We are also excited to have assembled a first-rate cast and production for this company premiere."
"I'm really excited about the company we've gathered for Oklahoma!" said Griffin. "It includes many artists with whom I've worked for years in Chicago, along with Ashley Brown and John Cudia, who I've seen in ChicaGo Productions of Show Boat, Mary Poppins, and Les Misérables. I'm excited to work with them both for the first time."
"When Show Boat opened last year, critics and audiences were bowled over by the sound of a world-class opera orchestra and chorus interpreting the score," Freud added. "Oklahoma! will be no different, with all the musical richness and nuance that its composer and its orchestrator had envisioned."
Freud noted that 37 members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra will perform the original orchestration. The production will feature a 24-person singer-dancer ensemble (including 12 members of the Lyric Opera Chorus) plus three solo dancers.
The new production of Oklahoma!, which includes the original choreography by Agnes De Mille, will have sixteen performances (including seven matinees) May 4-19 at the Civic Opera House, with tickets ranging from $32 to $153. Lyric subscribers receive a 10% discount through December 15.