Lyric Theatre

Lyric Theatre @ Illinois is the producer of sung theatre at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts, where it mounts three Main Stage and many smaller productions in a variety of styles and languages each year. 

We are committed to new, innovative, sung theatre; traditional European opera; and American Musical Theater. We work closely with professionals in all industries, and sponsor several compositions each year, ranging from workshops to full productions with chamber orchestra. In our short history, many of these have been world premieres, including our workshop of 2019's Pulitzer Prize winner for music: p r i s m. Our Lyric Studio and Opera Scenes classes focus on the development of stagecraft and acquisition of repertoire and culminate in shared presentations in Krannert Center’s Tryon Festival Theatre each semester. We encourage the development of works for the stage by student composers, in frequent collaboration with our renowned composition faculty and the Illinois Modern Ensemble.

LTI offers a degree which focuses especially on sung theatre:  the Bachelor of Musical Arts in Lyric Theatre.  Students in this degree program follow a curriculum which includes substantial acting and dance instruction, and which trains the singing actor in the repertoire and techniques of all genres of sung theater. The BMA also includes students focusing on theatrical composition, directing, or writing for the stage. Uniquely positioned in a School of Music, the BMA provides a thorough musical education and commitment to healthy vocal production which theatrically based curricula cannot.  However, Lyric Theater productions are a major creative and performance medium for students seeking many other degrees:  Vocal Performance, Vocal Coaching and Accompanying, Instrumental and Choral Conducting, Acting, Dance, Theater Studies, Stage Management and Design.

LTI is a resident producer of the Krannert Center, which presents the world’s greatest artists regularly, and which partners with us in fostering an important connection between the guest artists and students in masterclasses and residencies. Artists have included Renee Fleming, Susan Graham, Larry Brownlee, Willam Burden, Isabel Leonard, Julian Ovenden, Richard Maltby and David Shire, and Kevin Stites.

Alumni have appeared in every major American opera house, including the Metropolitan Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Houston Grand Opera, and San Francisco Opera.  They appear on Broadway, in national tours, in film and television, at Radio City Music Hall, the Hollywood Bowl, and in recital throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. They hold prestigious faculty appointments at the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, the Academy of Vocal Arts, Dartmouth College, and Florida State University.