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Joffrey Moving to Lyric Opera House in 2020

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After two decades at the Auditorium Theatre at Congress and Wabash, the Joffrey will be moving it’s performances to the Lyric Opera at Walker and Washington. The Lyric holds 300 less people, but it should not matter much because the Joffrey rarely opens the upper balcony at the Auditorium Theatre. 

I prefer the Auditorium to the Lyric from a convenience perspective as it’s right on the red line, but the Lyric is a more modern theatre. I’ve only been to the opera there once (sat in the orchestra a bit back and felt it was a bit hard to see the stage) and will need to decide which I prefer as a dance viewing venue.

https://www.google.com/amp/www.chicagotribune.com/entertainment/music/vonrhein/ct-ent-joffrey-lyric-residency-0923-story,amp.html

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I've never been to the Lyric, but I loved seeing the Joffrey at the Auditorium -- the house is so full of wonderful images.

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Not to mention the place itself.  One evening after a performance I talked with a  ballerina I know.  We were in the wing, the curtain was back up, but the house lights were still on, and she took in the spectacle.  "I've danced in a lot of theaters but this one is the most beautiful", she said.  

You can get almost this this perspective next time you're at a performance there by making your way down to the orchestra pit and turning around to look up into the house; or better yet, make your way to one of the side entrances into the auditorium from the a side hall, and look at it profile, and not incidentally appreciate how the upsweep, the rake, of the rows of seats gets steeper and steeper toward the back, more steep than necessary for good sight lines, but also for acoustics too.

The Civic Theater (it's the Lyric Opera Company, easy to confuse), said to be a more modern theater, has nether virtue in the house but is said to have a more modern, better-equipped stage house, with deeper wings, which dancers might appreciate, but I think both houses, seating nearly 4,000, are too big for ballet.  (The Harris Theater on Randolph Street is about the right size, 1,500 or so, and has good sight lines and acoustics, though it's nothing to look at, IMO.)

For me, it matters more how well you can see and hear in a theater than what it looks like.  It's a mystery why the Joffrey is moving to the lesser of our two oversize opera houses, unless it's for that more-modern stage house in the Civic.


 

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I can imagine that they would appreciate a more modern set-up backstage -- it can get tricky working in older houses.

 

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