Another South Loop Opera Connection

and another chance to see me when I was blue

09/14/2012 1:47 PM

By Bonnie McGrath

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Jimmy Lopez

Me being blue in Aida as an Ethiopian prisoner during the time Jimmy Lopez was on the tip of Chicagoans' tongues

This past winter when I was a supernumerary at Lyric Opera, appearing for a full 15-minutes of heart-wrenching drama as an Ethiopian prisoner in the Triumphal Scene of Aida, there was a huge announcement that came from the marketing department of the opera house that blew everyone away. For a while, it took opera fans' attention away from my performance and put the spotlight on a Peruvian composer named Jimmy Lopez. He was the composer chosen for a brand new opera that the Lyric announced it would be staging during the 2015-16 season, based on the novel "Bel Canto" by Ann Patchett.

This was a big announcement. But I was glad when it died down and the attention went back to the performances on hand at the Lyric. Because how often does a person like me get to be painted blue, done up by make-up artists and costumers and wigmistresses for at least an hour for a dozen performances (not to mention being needed for scores of rehearsals) on the stage of one of the major opera houses in the world? For my literally 15 minutes of fame.

Months later, however, Jimmy Lopez has now wormed his way back into my world. Actually, he's wormed himself into my neighborhood. He will be visiting Chicago next week during a major performance of his music at one of our South Loop stalwart, iconic venues: Grace Place at 637 S. Dearborn. CUBE (Contemporary Chamber Ensemble) is celebrating it's 25th anniversary, and is featuring Lopez' work on Thursday at 7:30 PM. Tickets are $25, $15 for students. And "gala" refreshments will be served, they say.

I encourage everyone I know to buy a ticket and attend. Because this time when Lopez gets the attention it won't detract from my attention. In fact, I will be there, too--trying to worm my way into a role as a supernumerary in "Bel Canto," provided the new opera actually calls for some. I do love a good South Loop opera connection because it gives me a chance to remember when I was blue. And hope for another go-round.

By the way, if I do get in as a Bel Canto "super," what shade of blue will they want to paint me this time? Any ideas?

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By Kathleen from Printer's Row
Posted: 09/20/2012 9:37 AM

Cobalt Blue Bonnie, my favorite color of blue!!