Italian conductor Enrique Mazzola renews his partnership with the Lyric Opera of Chicago into the next decade, it was announced today.

Since becoming Music Director in September 2021, Mazzola has led the company in numerous critically acclaimed productions, including Sir David McVicar’s new production of Verdi’s Macbeth: “Mazzola was firmly in command” (Musical America). Other highlights have included Christopher Alden’s electrifying production of Wagner’s The Flying Dutchman, with a star cast including Tamara Wilson and Tomasz Konieczny, and the Chicago premiere of Champion, the first opera of six-time Grammy Award-winning composer Terence Blanchard.

Speaking about the news, Enrique comments “I am thrilled that my partnership with Lyric Opera of Chicago will continue and develop in the years to come. Chicago has become my home, my ‘opera family’, and I am so excited about the future for the organisation with its dedicated and experienced team — we’ve already achieved so much together! We are working hard to broaden our reach as a Company through diverse programming and education projects, working alongside the Chicago communities, and strengthening and building upon the remarkably rich legacy of this historic House. It is my true honour to be an integral part of that.”

Anthony Freud, Lyric’s General Director, President, and CEO said: “While it is bittersweet that this is the final season I announce before my retirement later this year, I am thrilled with the upcoming season of enduring classics and bold contemporary works that my colleagues and I have planned, and I know Lyric audiences will be delighted by our incredible casts and productions. I am also certain that with the continuing leadership of Music Director Enrique Mazzola, Lyric audiences and supporters are in very good hands, and that Lyric will continue to be producing consistently world-class seasons, as both a true cultural hub for all of Chicago and one of the world’s great opera companies.”

Today’s announcement also includes the launch of the Lyric’s 2024/2025 season — the much-anticipated 70th anniversary of this prestigious House — with Mazzola conducting Verdi’s Rigoletto, Beethoven’s Fidelio, and Missy Mazzoli’s The Listeners, as well as special concerts with star soprano Sondra Radvanovsky, and a special ‘Rising Stars’ concert, marking the 50th anniversary of the Ryan Opera Centre.

Widely celebrated as a champion of bel canto, Mazzola is also a renowned interpreter of Verdi and in more recent seasons notable for his expert exploration of French grand opera. A keen advocate of contemporary music, he commissioned and premiered several works with Orchestre national d’Île-de-France, of which for seven years he was Artistic and Music Director, and led many other premieres with major European orchestras.

Alongside his work in Chicago, for the remainder of this season, Enrique looks forward to a new production of Roberto Devereux at Dutch National Opera, symphonic concerts with Wiener Symphoniker and Staatsphilharmonie Nürnberg, and Der Freischütz at the Bregenz Festival, where he is Conductor in Residence.