Ailyn Pérez makes her greatly anticipated return to her hometown of Chicago this spring, starring as Marguerite in a premiere staging of Gounod’s Faust at Lyric Opera of Chicago. Performances for this new production, directed by Kevin Newbury, take place March 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 & 18 at the Civic Opera House (live broadcast via WFMT on March 3). The cast also features Benjamin Bernheim in the title role, Christian van Horn in his debut as Méphistophélès, and Edward Parks as Valentin. Maestro Emmanuel Villaume leads from the pit for all dates; he and Ms. Pérez recently collaborated on another French Masterwork – Massenet’s Thaïs at The Metropolitan Opera:
“Ailyn Pérez did exactly what she should do: walked on stage and took over. From her first breath, the voice caressed, seduced – but, most importantly, demanded attention. I’m not sure that Pérez was actually several decibels louder than everyone else, but she might as well have been: you couldn’t stop concentrating fully on her whenever she sang, and were rewarded by the most luscious of timbre, utter security in the high notes and full commitment to the role … Emmanuel Villaume conducted a wonderful account of the score, with impeccable balance and a constant sense of direction: this was music one could have listened to for hours on end.” (Bachtrack)
Ms. Pérez has previously received tremendous critical acclaim for her portrayals Marguerite, one of the repertoire’s most romantic and endearing characters, at San Diego Opera and Santa Fe Opera:
“Ailyn Pérez in a strongly sung musically solid performance of Marguerite, the star of the show … the free flow of tone, her ease in the top soprano register, and her energy and ability to enter into hyper-action staging won deserved applause.” (Opera Today)
Read the press release from Lyric Opera of Chicago on the cast update at the following link.