“Earth to Kenzie” Opera Preview – How far does your imagination go?

Earth to Kenzie. Photo: Kyle Flubacker.
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Throughout the year, the Lyric Opera of Chicago puts on many spectacular productions . They are excited to announce its latest opera for young people, Earth to Kenzie. This new opera is created especially for children ages 7-12 by composer Frances Pollock and librettist Jessica Murphy Moo. Earth to Kenzie will show just how far your imagination can take you.

Earth to Kenzie tells the story of Kenzie — a fifth grader with homework, asthma, and a big imagination. When she and her mother have to move into a family shelter, Kenzie finds refuge in the world of video games alongside her avatar, Edwin. Through their imaginary space adventures, Kenzie soon comes to realize that home is not a place, but rather a feeling of being surrounded by those you love. This opera adventure explores themes and conversations surrounding housing insecurity, technology’s role in the lives of children, overcoming obstacles, and finding a place in the world.

“Lyric is excited to present this new opera, created especially for young audiences and their adults,” said Cayenne Harris, vice president of Lyric Unlimited. “Introducing children to the art form of opera using a story that is relevant to today’s audiences is an important part of our mission.”

Tickets, which range from $10-20, are on sale for three performances taking place at the Vittum Theater (1012 N. Noble St, Chicago) on Saturday, November 9 at 1pm and 3pm and Sunday, November 10 at 3pm. The cast of four singers will be accompanied by piano, and the 45-minute production will be presented in English. There is a special offer for 50% off tickets to the public for the performances of Earth to Kenzie on November 9 & 10. Simply use promo FAMILY50 when you check out. For tickets and additional information, click here.

Earth to Kenzie is a co-commission with Seattle Opera. Directed by Jess McLeod, it features soprano Kateri Gormley as Kenzie, mezzo-soprano Emma Ritter as Kenzie’s mother, mezzo-soprano Christina Pecce as Edwin/Eddie, and baritone Keanon Kyles as the Teacher/Taxi Driver. Costumes are by Mieka van der Ploeg and the scenic design is by Jeffrey D. Kmiec. The music supervisor and pianist for the production is Yasuko Oura.

In addition to the performances at the Vittum Theater, Earth to Kenzie is being presented for student groups in and around Chicago as part of Lyric’s Opera in the Neighborhoods (OIN) program, giving access to the opera to thousands of students in grades 3-6.  

Families interested in introducing opera to young children should also save the date for Lyric’s second annual Family Day at Lyric, on Saturday, May 16 at the Lyric Opera House from 11am – 3pm. The day will include a tour of the orchestra pit, hands-on demonstrations of operatic stagecraft, and costume try-ons, among other activities. Visit Lyric’s website for more information and to reserve your tickets.

All photos by : Kyle Flubacker

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