CHICAGO OPERA THEATER, HARRIS THEATER FOR MUSIC AND DANCE, MILLENNIUM
MILLENNIUM PARK, INC. TO PRESENT FIRST-EVER FREE LIVE SIMULCAST PRESENTATION OF AN OPERA IN CHICAGO HISTORY, FRIDAY, MAY 9,
Chicago Opera Theater’s contemporary production of Don Giovanni
to be projected direct from the Harris Theater to the stage of the Pritzker Pavilion
to 11,000 free audience members in both seats and on the Great Lawn under the trellis
Major funding for the simulcast provided by The Boeing Company
Chicago, April 9, 2008 – Chicago Opera Theater (COT), the Harris Theater for Music and Dance, Millennium Park, and
Millennium Park Inc. today announced a cultural milestone for the City of Chicago - the first outdoor, large screen, live
simulcast presentation of an opera in the city's history. On Friday, May 9 at 7:30pm, Millennium Park will offer a FREE and
LIVE broadcast of Chicago Opera Theater’s presentation of Mozart's most beloved opera, Don Giovanni, direct
from the Harris Theater to the stage of the Jay PritzkerPavilion. An audience of potentially 11,000 viewers will be
able to see this contemporary rendition of Don Giovanni live under the stars from both the seats and the Great Lawn
of Millennium Park.
By presenting the first live simulcast of an opera in Chicago, through this public / private partnership, Chicago will
now join the visionary ranks of a select list of other opera institutions in major cities in the United States which have
presented live simulcast presentations of operas, including The Metropolitan Opera in New York City, the Houston Grand Opera,
the Washington National Opera in Washington, D.C. and the San Francisco Opera.
“We at Chicago Opera Theater believe passionately that opera is the most thrilling of all art forms, and we
are delighted to be the first company in Chicago to present a live broadcast of an operatic masterpiece from our home at the
Harris Theater into Millennium Park,” said Chicago Opera Theater General Director Brian Dickie.
“It’s thrilling to be a part of Chicago history,” said Michael Tiknis, President and Managing Director
of the Harris Theater. “We are pleased to collaborate with Chicago Opera Theater and Millennium Park in order to bring
opera to residents of the City of Chicago and beyond. As the Harris prepares to celebrate its Fifth Anniversary season, this
is a fantastic opportunity for the Theater and our partner organizations to join the group of nationally-recognized cultural
leaders working to grow and diversify opera audiences.”
“Since its inauguration in July 2004, Millennium Park has become an internationally-renowned destination for year-round
cultural programming for residents of Chicago, the surrounding community, and those visiting the city,” said Lois Weisberg,
Commissioner of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. “The City of Chicago is proud to continue to present superlative
programming free of charge to Chicagoans. The first-ever live opera simulcast in the Jay Pritzker Pavilion will place Chicago
in the company of other leading cultural cities in the United States and is a testament to our continued commitment to making
the arts accessible to all.”
John H. Bryan, Chairman Millennium Park, Inc. said “Millennium Park, Inc. is
very pleased to help make possible the first–ever live free simulcast of an opera in Chicago history. The Jay Pritzker
Pavilion in Millennium Park is one of the most sophisticated outdoor music venues in the world. Through simulcasts like this
we are able to extend the outdoor performance season and bring more free cultural programming to the people of Chicago and
visitors from around the country and around the world.”
Chicago Opera Theater specializes in fresh interpretations of classic operas in order to make the story as universal and
relatable as the day it was first performed hundreds of years ago. Don Giovanni is no exception, taking place
in a modern day, decadent nightclub where the themes and characters are easily familiar to a contemporary audience.
Don Giovanni marks the completion of Mozart/da Ponte operas from the team of Jane Glover and Diane Paulus after
their acclaimed COT productions of Cosě fan tutte (2002) and Le nozze di Figaro (2005). Creating this
exclusive and fashionable world of Don Giovanni is set designer Riccardo Hernandez, costume designer David Woolard,
and lighting designer Aaron Black.
Making his American debut as Don Giovanni is Iain Paterson, one of Europe’s leading young bass-baritones. The
cast also includes Matt Boehler (Leporello), Michael Colvin (Don Ottavio), Rhoslyn Jones (Donna Anna), Andrew Funk (Commendatore),
Isabel Leonard (Zerlina), Krisztina Szabó (Donna Elvira), and Ben Wager (Masetto).
Utilizing the backstage space shared by the Harris Theater and Pritzker Pavilion, the Don Giovanni cast will grace
the Pritzker Pavilion stage immediately after the show to take their bows in front of the thousands in Millennium Park.
Bruce Bryant of Ghost Ranch Films will serve as director for the Don Goivanni simulcast production. Bryant has
directed similar simulcasts for Houston Grand Opera, as well as the televised simulcast of Porgy & Bess for the
Washington National Opera at the Kennedy Center and the television simulcast of the San Francisco Opera's production of Madamé
Using state-of-the-art technology, two 20,000 lumen DLP projectors will provide a stunning visual reproduction of the images
from inside the Harris Theater onto an 18’ x 32’ screen which will be positioned on the stage of the Jay PritzkerPavilion,
utilizing approximately 20% of the opening space on the Pritzker stage. Six cameras will record the action from the Harris
stage and fiber optic equipment will link the transmission from the Harris Theater to the screen on the Pritzker stage. The
production will be sung in Italian with large-scale English subtitles projected onto the screen. The Jay Pritzker Pavilion’s
revolutionary two part sound system will provide clarity and amplification along with acoustic enhancement resulting in a
three-dimensional auditory experience. The concentric arrangement of speakers on the overhead trellis and timed digital delays
will create the impression that the sound is arriving to the audience from the stage, rather than the speakers.
Major funding for the simulcast provided by The Boeing Company.
For more information about the live simulcast broadcast, visit www.millenniumpark.org or www.ChicagoOperaTheater.org or www.harristheaterchicago.org.