General Director, President & CEO Anthony Freud today announced that Italian conductor Enrique Mazzola has been named as the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s next Music Director. Becoming Music Director Designate immediately, Enrique will become only the third person to serve as Music Director when assumes the role in the 2021/22 season.
“I am thrilled that Enrique Mazzola has accepted Lyric’s invitation to become our next music director,” says General Director, President & CEO Anthony Freud. “He has accrued a wealth of international experience in his career to date, and he is tremendously well liked and respected by the Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chorus. I am confident that our audiences and the people of Chicago will be captivated by his artistry, his charm and personality, as has certainly been the case during his initial engagements here in the past few years. I look forward with great excitement to working very closely with Enrique. Our artistic partnership has already started, and is proving both very fruitful and extremely enjoyable.”
“I am so looking forward to working closely with Anthony in my new role as music director at Lyric starting in 2021, and to working with both Anthony and Sir Andrew as music director designate during the transition period,” says Enrique. “Anthony has made me feel very much like part of the Lyric Opera family from the beginning, and our working relationship is always an excellent collaboration.”
Sir Andrew Davis, who has been Music Director of the Lyric Opera since 2000, says, “It will be hard to leave, but the timing is right for me and I am confident that Enrique will be a splendid music director for Lyric. I am greatly looking forward to working closely with him over the next two years. He’s a fine musician and someone who will continue the tradition of the Lyric Opera family. It’s fantastic to have two years together for our transition.”
Lyric audiences first encountered Enrique’s artistry with Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor in 2016/17, for which The Chicago Tribune praised “an impressive company debut … Mazzola was ever at the ready to support the vocal lines with shapely, refined orchestral playing that soared along with the singers, but also delivered firm dramatic urgency and tension when so required. This conductor is a discovery indeed.”
Enrique Mazzola is also Principal Guest Conductor at Deutsche Oper Berlin, and until recently served as Artistic and Music Director of the Orchestre National d’Île-de-France (ONDIF) in Paris. He returns to the Lyric podium this autumn, conducting performances of Verdi’s Luisa Miller.