The Lyric Opera of Chicago is one of the leading opera companies in the United States. It was founded in Chicago in 1954.
The company's permanent home is the Civic Opera Building, a 1929 structure with an Art Deco interior. Its 3,563-seat capacity makes it the second-largest opera auditorium in North America.
Wiiliam Mason is the current General Manager of the Lyric Opera, a position he has held since November 1997. Mason has been with the company for over 40 years. Andrew Davis is the Lyric's music director and principal conductor, a post he has occupied since in September 2000. He will be leading three complete cycles of Der Ring des Nibelungen in the 2004-2005 season to mark the company's 50th anniversary.
In addition to the standard operatic repertoire, the Lyric also presents contemporary works. Recent productions have included Harbison's The Great Gatsby (2000-01), Weill's Street Scene (2001-02), and Floyd's Susannah and Sondheim's Sweeney Todd (2002-03).
Composer William Bolcom is working on his next opera for Lyric, A Wedding, which is based on the 1978 Robert Altman film of the same name, and will be directed by Altman. It will premiere during Lyric's 50th-anniversary season. Bolcom will also create another opera for Lyric, to be premiered during the 2009-10 season.