CHICAGO (CBS) — The Joffrey Ballet and the Lyric Opera will start their seasons this fall, after having being on pause because of the pandemic.

The ballet company starts its 2021-2022 season with “Home: a Celebration” beginning October 13-24.

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All performances will be presented at the Lyric Opera House, located at 20 North Upper Wacker Drive.

In a joint statement from Ashley Wheater and Greg Cameron of the Joffrey Ballet, the dance company is excited to present “new-to-the-stage” and classic favorites including The Nutcracker.

“After an extraordinary year of unknowns, we can think of no greater pleasure than announcing the Joffrey’s coming season of hope, renewal, and joy. The return of live performance is a welcome salve right now, a chance for all of us to come together again and share the magic of the stage. On behalf of everyone at the Joffrey, we cannot wait to see audiences at the theatre soon.”

According to the Lyric Opera, COVID-19 safety precautions will be taken and capacity limits may be presented.

“Changes and adjustments include touchless fixtures in the theatre, upgraded air filtration system, and mandatory face covering requirements for all attendees, among other COVID-19 safety protocols. Patrons who experience any COVID-19-related symptoms and cannot attend the performance will have tickets credited to their account.”

Some of the other programs planned for the 2021-2022 season include The Nutcracker, Don Quixote, Of Mice and Men and the Joffrey premier of Serenade by George Balanchine.

Click here for more on dates, tickets and information regarding the upcoming season.

For the Lyric Opera, the new season begins in September with “Macbeth” opening on September 17 followed by “The Elixir of Love” which begins on September 26.

“We’re back,” said Anthony Freud, Lyric’s general director, president & CEO. “While Lyric continued to vigorously engage its audiences through virtual performances and events over the past year and expanded our reach through globally accessible streaming concerts, we have also worked tirelessly to prepare our beautiful opera house so we can return safely to live, fully staged productions with audiences in attendance.”

Maestro Enrique Mazzola is Lyric’s new music director. According to Freud, the seating has been reset.

“We were able to replace every seat in the house, reshaping the theater with widened aisles, improved sightlines and better ease of access throughout,” Freud said, who added that the opera house is welcoming the Joffrey Ballet as its resident ballet company.

“We will present seven opera productions that have never before been seen in Chicago,” Freud said. “From our completely new Macbeth to open the season, to our new coproduction of the riveting contemporary work Fire Shut Up in My Bones to close the season.”

The Lyric Opera also announced changes to everything from seating to programming times. Some of the plans include:

• The four operas from September through November will be reworked to have maximum
performance running times of 2.5 hours.

• Our hope is to provide patrons with their intended subscription seating as soon as possible. Until
we receive guidance from health authorities on allowable theater capacity, however, we will
send subscribers their tickets on a show-by-show basis to allow for flexibility in responding to
evolving capacity allowances.

• Lyric will offer virtual streams of the season’s shows for ticket-holders only, as an alternative
to attending in-person, should some audience members not yet feel comfortable returning to
the theater. Access to these streams will be included in the price of the performance tickets.

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At the theater, audiences can expect:
• In compliance with state and local health guidelines, attendees will be required to wear
mandatory face coverings.

• Enhanced, hospital-grade cleaning practices that use high-performance disinfectants
throughout our theater spaces and offices.

• Ventilation systems have been thoroughly cleaned, including fogging of hard-to-reach

• Upgraded air filters have been installed, and airflow has been shifted to decrease recycled air
and increase fresh air exchange.

• Water systems have been regularly maintained.

• Increased conversion to touchless fixtures in the theater is under way.

• Hand-sanitizing stations are available in locations throughout the theater.

• Dining and concessions will be operated in compliance with state and local health guidelines.

• Daily health and safety checks are conducted for our onsite staff members.

Click here for more information on Lyric Opera’s schedule, ticket pricing and other special program offers.

The 67th season of the Lyric Opera includes:

• Macbeth (Verdi) — Enrique Mazzola, conductor; new production by Sir David McVicar

• The Elixir of Love (Donizetti) — Enrique Mazzola, conductor; new-to-Chicago production by
Daniel Slater

• The Magic Flute (Mozart) — conductor TBA; new-to-Chicago production by Barrie Kosky and
Suzanne Andrade

• Florencia en el Amazonas (Catán) — Jordan de Souza, conductor; Lyric premiere and new-toChicago production by Francesca Zambello

• Proving Up (Mazzoli/Vavrek) — Enrique Mazzola, conductor; Lyric premiere and new-to-Chicago
production by James Darrah

• Tosca (Puccini) — Eun Sun Kim, conductor; new-to-Chicago production directed by Louisa Muller
• Fire Shut Up in My Bones (Blanchard/Lemmons) — Daniela Candillari, conductor; Lyric premiere
and new co-production by James Robinson and Camille A. Brown

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• Sir Andrew Davis Beethoven 9 Concert— Lyric premiere

CBS 2 Chicago Staff