By Natalie Kuchik

The best opera performances in Chicago offer fans of art and culture the chance to watch spectacular vocalists bring to life world-renowned operas. They are performed inside both historical and modern theaters that are almost as beautiful as the voices boasting from within. In 2012, there are some great opera performances coming to Chicago that would be enjoyable for both new and old fans of these dramatic musicals.


“The Saint of Bleecker Street”
Athenaeum Theatre
2936 N Southport Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 935-6860

Dates: June 3 through June 10
Price: $10-$30

The Chicago premiere of “The Saint of Bleecker Street” will be produced by Chamber Opera Chicago along with New York’s DiCapo Opera. This three-act opera is set in New York City’s Little Italy and is about a girl named Annina who has a spiritual gift. Her brother thinks she is insane, but her neighbors believe she is a saint. Come find out what happens to Annina this upcoming June at the Athenaeum Theatre. The opera will be sung in English, and an orchestra will be performing at all shows.


“The Magic Flute”
Harris Theater
205 E Randolph Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
(312) 334-7777

Dates: September 15 through September 23
Price: TBD, Tickets will go on sale this summer

In the fall of 2012, the Chicago Opera Theater will put on a performance of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s 18th century opera, “The Magic Flute,” at the Harris Theater. Consisting of two acts, “The Magic Flute” tells a tale of bravery, love and the struggle between good and evil. The story is acted out by the vocalists in both singing and spoken form. The Chicago Opera Theater’s production of Mozart’s final opera will be performed in English, making it a great family-friendly event.

Related: Tips For The Opera In Chicago


Civic Opera House
20 North Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 332-2244

Dates: October 6 through October 30
Price: $79-$425

The Lyric Opera of Chicago will be putting on a new production of Richard Strauss’ “Elektra” this October. It is one of the best opera performances in Chicago for those who like Greek mythology. The 105-minute-long opera tells the tale of love, murder and revenge within a family dynamic. Soprano vocalist Christine Goerke will portray the title character, and this production of “Elektra” will be her Lyric Opera of Chicago debut. The performance is in German, but there will be projected lyrics and dialogue in English subtitles.


“Hansel and Gretel”
Civic Opera House
20 North Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 332-2244

Dates: December 7 through December 16, 2012 and January 8 through January 19, 2013
Price: TBD, Tickets go on sale August 1st

“Hansel and Gretel” is one of the best opera performances in Chicago to watch if you are a fan of fairytales with a dark twist. The Lyric Opera of Chicago partnered with the Welsh National Opera to put their own spin on composer Engelbert Humperdinck’s 19th century opera based on the “Hansel and Gretel” fairytale. This opera revolves around two poor children being sent out by their mother to find food, and while doing so they encounter a seemingly friendly witch with ulterior motives. The 140-minute-long production of “Hansel and Gretel” will be entertaining for all ages.

Related: The Best Of Paris In Chicago

Natalie Kuchik is a longtime freelance writer living in Chicago. She enjoys interviewing bands, reviewing concerts, and writing about all things entertainment related. Her work can be found at