- $49 for one ticket to see Tannhäuser at Lyric Opera of Chicago (up to $184 value)
- 4 hours and 15 minutes of singing with two 30-minute intermissions, a 25 minute ballet, and epic Wagnerian power
- Orchestra and chorus with more than 200 artists
- Where: Civic Opera House
- When: Wednesday, February 18; Thursday, February 26; or Monday, March 2, at 6 p.m.
- Seating: main floor
- Door time: 5 p.m.
- Full offer value includes ticketing fees
- Click here to view the seating chart
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A rebel minstrel is torn between lust and spirituality in Wagner’s mid-period opera Tannhäuser. As the curtains lift, the titular singer is happily imprisoned by the goddess Venus, caught up in a bacchanalian ballet. But after a year of having his every physical appetite sated, his intellect grows bored and his soul restless. Only by evoking the name of the Virgin Mary is he able to escape his sensual captor. However, he finds that shrugging off his indulgent lifestyle isn’t so easy once he returns to the mortal world, a dilemma that sparks an internal war between his body and mind.
With such conflicting desires at the forefront, the opera requires a vocally and dramatically complex star to play its title character. Luckily, Johan Botha—a tenor who has become virtually synonymous with the role—takes on the role of the majestic Tannhäuser for the Lyric Opera of Chicago production. Opera magazine called Botha “near-unbelievable” in the roll at the Royal Opera in 2010, adding that “his athletic, silvery tone was as fresh at the end as it had been at the beginning,” while London’s Telegraph called him “that rare thing, a true Wagnerian tenor…with clarion tone.” Also from that production, Michaela Schuster returns to her role as the temptress Venus, with the part of Tannhäuser’s virtuous human love played by Lyric Opera favorite Amber Wagner, whose voice the Chicago Tribune said “spun reams of gorgeous, creamy tone.”
Lyric Opera of Chicago
- Founded: 1954
- Home: Civic Opera House, a masterpiece of art deco and art nouveau design opened in 1929
- Mission: to engage audiences with classic operas, lesser-known gems, and new works
- Famous performers: Pavarotti, Maria Callas, dancer Rudolf Nureyev, Plácido Domingo, Marilyn Horne, Frederica von Stade, and Renée Fleming have all graced the stage