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Lyric offers reason for hope

With the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s 2019-20 season cut short by a pandemic that has brought normal life to a standstill, any ray of hope is both welcome and needed. The company has offered exactly that, mapping out a 2020-21 lineup full of Italian classics, talent and hidden treasures. Kicking things off in mid-September is a spectacular double bill of one-act operas: Mascagni’s “Cavalleria rusticana” and Leoncavallo’s “Pagliacci.” A powerhouse pairing of searing dramas, the production will be conducted by Carlo Rizzi and will feature the Lyric debut of baritone Ambrogio Maestri as Alfio in Cavalleria and Tonio in Pagliacci. ...

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Lyric, Radvanovsky shine in Donizetti showcase

As any music historian will tell you, composer Gaetano Donizetti didn’t intend his three operas about Tudor queens as a trilogy. Written in separate years with different librettists, the operas focus on climactic and at times highly fictionalized moments in the lives of Anne Boleyn in “Anna Bolena,” Mary Queen of Scots in “Maria Stuarda” and Queen Elizabeth I in “Roberto Devereux.” While long looked upon individually as proving grounds for the greatest divas of our time, the trio was forever linked when Beverly Sills sang all three roles with the New York City Opera in the 1970s. Jumping forward ...

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Lyric delivers a stellar ‘Don Giovanni’

The second collaboration with the librettist Da Ponte, “Don Giovanni” is rightfully considered one of Mozart’s highest accomplishments and is one of the gold standards of the operatic repertory. Based on the figure of Don Juan, Don Giovanni is a serial seducer, causing mayhem indiscriminately until he reaps his just rewards. The Lyric Opera of Chicago opened their run of “Don Giovanni” on November 14 to a packed and appreciative house. Running through December 8, it’s a production well worth seeing. Transported to 1920s Spain, the sets and costumes are a feast for the eyes. A true ensemble piece, the ...

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Lyric stages Rossini’s comedic classic

The Lyric Opera will offer eight performances of Gioachino Rossini’s “The Barber of Seville” between Sept. 28 and Oct. 27. Featuring an overture made famous by the Bugs Bunny-Elmer Fudd caper cartoon “The Rabbit of Seville,” Rossini’s comic masterpiece recounts the efforts of the resourceful rascal Figaro to release the irrepressible Rosina from the clutches of her pompous old guardian, Dr. Bartolo, and into the arms of her sweetheart, the bold young count Almaviva. The part of Dr. Bartolo will be performed by renowned Italian buffo bass-baritone Alessandro Corbelli.  For details, click here.

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Blackhawks to host Italian Heritage Month matchup

The Chicago Blackhawks will celebrate Italian Heritage Month with a special ticket offer for the Oct. 27 game against the Los Angeles Kings. Fans who purchase tickets through www.chicagoblackhawks.com/italianheritage will receive an Italian-themed Blackhawks winter hat. VIP ticket packages are also available, and include an exclusive pregame reception in the Concert Club with food and beverage provided. Groups of 10 or more will receive savings off single-game pricing. To book a group, contact Kathleen Massolio at 312-455-7020 or

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Four Notes to headline Addison fundraiser

The Addison Sister Cities Italy Exchange will host a benefit concert on Oct. 18 at Addison Trail High School, 213 N. Lombard Road. The concert will feature The Four C Notes, Chicago’s only tribute group dedicated to creating the iconic sounds of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. The quartet will put on a show featuring hits like “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Workin’ My Way Back to You” and “Oh, What A Night.” Tickets are $30 plus processing fee, and can be purchased at fourcnotesdupagehsd88.eventbrite.com.

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Maniscalco to stage triumphant return

Fresh off a two-year-plus run on his Stay Hungry Tour, Billboard’s inaugural Comedian of the Year Sebastian Maniscalco is back with the You Bother Me tour, which will visit 12 cities in the U.S. and Canada throughout its fall run. Touted as “the comedian’s comedian” by People Magazine, Maniscalco finds himself “at the vanguard of a live comedy revolution,” according to Pollstar. And the man “NBC Nightly News” called “comedy’s new superstar” is showing no signs of stopping. A native of the Chicago area, Maniscalco will of course make a stop in Chicago, performing at the United Center on Nov. ...

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IA Literati spotlights local writers

IA Literati 2019 — Casa Italia’s 15th annual celebration of local Italian-American authors — ran from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on June 1 in the Florentine Room of the Italian Cultural Center in Stone Park. The event began with a meet-and-greet with the authors at 9:30, followed by presentations at 10. Additional activities included book sales, book signings, raffles and a light lunch at intermission. Several new authors, including Adam Kessel, Alanna Crisci, Maria Rosaria D’Alfonso and Peter Belmonte, took part in the event along with veteran literati Lou Corsino, Kathy DeNicolo, CJ Martello, Kathryn Occhipinti and Tony Romano. ...

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14th-century Italian frescoes inspire modern artist at MCA

A contemporary Chicago artist has drawn inspiration from a series of 14th-century Italian frescoes to create an immersive carpet mural that’s on display at the Museum of Contemporary Art through July 7. Jessica Campbell’s candid and often humorous textiles, comics and drawings critique the traumas and absurdities of gender politics. For her “Chicago Works” exhibition, Campbell re-envisions the life and artwork of Canadian painter Emily Carr (1871-1945), celebrated for her expressive landscapes, to explore the challenges women face in everyday settings and the creative possibilities of reading and telling stories from multiple perspectives. The centerpiece of the exhibition is an ...

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Italian Rugby team to compete in Chicago

  Some of the best Rugby players in Italy and Ireland will compete in Chicago in November as part of a Rugby Weekend hosted by USA Rugby and TLA Worldwide in conjunction with Chicago Sports Commission and Soldier Field. All matches will take place at Soldier Field on Nov. 3 The USA Women’s Eagles will open the match line-up against the 2017 Women’s Rugby World Cup Champion Black Ferns. Six Nations Champions Ireland will then take on Six Nations rivals Italy. The final match will pit the USA Men’s Eagles against New Zealand’s Maori All Blacks. Tickets are available at ...

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