For 65 years, Lyric has brought together the timeless power of voice and acting, the splendor of a great orchestra and chorus—coupled with theater, dance, design and magical stagecraft—to transport audiences to worlds both familiar and unexpected.
But a rapidly changing cultural landscape, demographic shifts within Chicago, changes in how entertainment is valued and consumed— and the continued perception of opera as elitist, expensive, foreign, and “not for me”—posed significant challenges for Lyric.
It was clear that Lyric needed to focus on making its offerings more relevant and “must-see” for a wider group of people, while simultaneously re-thinking fundraising to garner increased support from both traditional and not-yet-connected prospective donors.
And, interestingly, Lyric had never attended to its brand. For decades the seats and coffers were full based on the strength of performances and the elevated standing of the company within the Chicago cultural and social landscape.
But that had changed.