Michael Black, chorus master, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Anthony Freud
Anthony Freud, general director of Lyric Opera of Chicago, announced today that Michael Black will be the company's new chorus master beginning with the 2013-14 season. He commences in August of 2013.
Black achieved great success as Lyric Opera's interim chorus master during the 2011-12 season, preparing the Lyric Opera Chorus for productions of The Tales of Hoffmann, Lucia di Lammermoor, Boris Godunov, The Magic Flute, Aida, and Show Boat.
Martin Wright served as chorus master from August until mid-November, when he resigned for health reasons. Ian Robertson, chorus director of San Francisco Opera, has been engaged as Lyric's guest chorus master Dec. 11-Feb. 23.
"Michael Black did superb work at Lyric last season," said Freud. "Everyone at Lyric - above all, our chorus members - was deeply impressed by the quality of his musicianship, his command of style, and most important, his ability, on a daily basis, to draw from the Lyric Opera Chorus the absolute best that they have to give. It takes a rare musician to achieve equal success, linguistically as well as musically, with composers as diverse as Offenbach, Mussorgsky, Donizetti, Mozart, Verdi, and Kern. Michael achieved this, and all of us are gratified that he will be able to continue his record of achievement with us beginning next season."
"Michael Black is a fantastic chorus master, and we are fortunate that he will be returning to Lyric on a permanent basis to continue working with our world-class chorus," said Sir Andrew Davis, Lyric's music director and principal conductor.
Said Black, "It is an honor to be invited back to Lyric by Maestro Davis and Anthony Freud to fill the role of chorus master, this time on an extended basis. The Lyric Opera Chorus is justifiably proud of its long history of first-rate performances and choral excellence, and I am thrilled to be able to strive to continue this tradition in the coming years. The chorus members already have my genuine respect and affection and I cannot wait to begin working with them again."