Samuel Insull envisioned and hired the design team for building a new opera house to serve as the home for the Chicago Civic Opera. The building has been seen as being shaped like a huge chair and is sometimes referred to as 'Insull's Throne.'
Insull selected the architecture firm Graham, Anderson, Probst & White who were responsible for numerous buildings in the downtown Chicago Loop (including the art deco Merchandise Mart and the former Morton Salt headquarters building next door to the Civic Opera House at 110 N Wacker, constructed in the 1950s). As they did on other occasions, the architects commissioned Henry Hering to produce architectural sculpture for the building.
The inaugural season was marked by the première of Camille, a modern opera by 28-year-old Chicago-composer Hamilton Forrest July 15, 1929. It was commissioned by the Civic Opera's prime star and manager, Mary Garden. The opera received mixed reviews and parts of it were broadcast in the Boston area. The Civic Opera is the only house in which the work has ever been performed.
The facility underwent a major renovation in 1993 when Lyric Opera of Chicago purchased the space it had previously rented. The chairs were repainted and reupholstered, the carpeting replaced, and the gilt paint completely re-stenciled. The massive project was completed in 1996.
This opera house was the inspiration for the one featured in Orson Welles's film, Citizen Kane. In order for his aspiring opera singer wife to perform, Charles Foster Kane builds an opera house for her, but the quality of her singing reveals her ineptitude. The urban legend is that Samuel Insull built this opera house for his wife, who was not hired by New York's Metropolitan Opera. Variations of this urban legend also often cite that the 'chair' represented by the building's architecture faces West, which was intended to be symbolic of Insull turning his back to New York City's Metropolitan Opera from the geographic standpoint of Chicago. The fact, however, is that Samuel Insull's wife was not an opera singer. A variation on this theme is that it was Insull's daughter who wasn't hired—the problem with this variation is that Insull had no daughters.
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Mary Garden was a Scottish operatic soprano with a substantial career in France and America in the first third of the 20th century. She spent the latter part of her childhood and youth in the United States and eventually became an American citizen, although she lived in France for many years and eventually retired to Scotland, where she died.
Lyric Opera of Chicago is one of the leading opera companies in the United States. It was founded in Chicago in 1954, under the name 'Lyric Theatre of Chicago' by Carol Fox, Nicola Rescigno and Lawrence Kelly, with a season that included Maria Callas's American debut in Norma. The company was re-organized by Fox in 1956 under its present name and, after her 1981 departure, it has continued to be of one of the major opera companies in the United States. The Lyric is housed in a theater and related spaces in the Civic Opera Building. These spaces are now owned by the Lyric.
The Auditorium Building in Chicago is one of the best-known designs of Louis Sullivan and Dankmar Adler. Completed in 1889, the building is located at the northwest corner of South Michigan Avenue and Congress Street. The building, which when constructed was the largest in the United States and the tallest in Chicago, was designed to be a multi-use complex, including offices, a theater, and a hotel. As a young apprentice, Frank Lloyd Wright worked on some of the interior design.
The buildings and architecture of Chicago have influenced and reflected the history of American architecture. The built environment of Chicago is reflective of the city's history and multicultural heritage, featuring prominent buildings in a variety of styles by many important architects. Since most structures within the downtown area were destroyed by the Great Chicago Fire in 1871 Chicago buildings are noted for their originality rather than their antiquity.
Samuel Insull was a British-born American business magnate. He was an innovator and investor based in Chicago who greatly contributed to creating an integrated electrical infrastructure in the United States. Insull created holding companies that purchased utilities and railroads. He was also responsible for the building of the Chicago Civic Opera House in 1929. Due to the Great Depression, his vast Midwest holding company empire collapsed, and he was accused of profiting personally by selling worthless stock to unsuspecting investors who trusted him because of his position and reputation. Following a seven-week trial, he and 16 co-defendants were acquitted of all charges after only two hours of jury deliberation.
Jules Guérin was an American muralist, architectural delineator, and illustrator. A painter and widely published magazine illustrator, he gained prominence for his architectural work such as in the 1906, Plan for Chicago, and for the large murals he painted in many well-known public structures such as the Lincoln Memorial.
The Carbide & Carbon Building is a 37-story, 503 feet (153 m) landmark Art Deco skyscraper built in 1929, located on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. It was converted to a hotel in 2004.
Matthew Polenzani is an American lyric tenor. He has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera, Seattle Opera, Royal Opera House, Bayerische Staatsoper, Lyric Opera of Chicago, Vienna State Opera, and San Francisco Opera, among others. He has also sung with numerous symphony orchestras. His sister is independent folk musician Rose Polenzani. His grandfather is Lynn Hauldren, known as the 'Empire Guy'.
Graham, Anderson, Probst & White (GAP&W) was a Chicago architectural firm that was founded in 1912 as Graham, Burnham & Co. This firm was the successor to D. H. Burnham & Co. through Daniel Burnham's surviving partner, Ernest R. Graham, and Burnham's sons, Hubert Burnham and Daniel Burnham Jr. In 1917, the Burnhams left to form their own practice, which eventually became Burnham Brothers, and Graham and the remaining members of Graham, Burnham & Co. – Graham, (William) Peirce Anderson, Edward Mathias Probst, and Howard Judson White – formed the resulting practice. The firm also employed Victor Andre Matteson.
Beverly Shores is a train station in Beverly Shores, Indiana, United States, which is served by South Shore Line trains. The station also serves the nearby Town of Pines. It is a flag stop.
The Atlanta Opera is an opera company located in the Atlanta metropolitan area. Founded in 1979, it produces mainstage opera productions and arts education programs for Metropolitan Atlanta and the Southeast.
The Civic Opera Company (1922–1931) was a Chicago company that produced seven seasons of grand opera in the Auditorium Theatre from 1922 to 1928, and three seasons at its own Civic Opera House from 1929 to 1931 before falling victim to financial difficulties brought on in part by the Great Depression. The company consisted largely of the remnants of the Chicago Opera Association, a company that produced seven seasons of grand opera in the Auditorium Theatre from 1915 until its bankruptcy in 1921.
Two grand opera companies in Chicago, Illinois, have gone by the name Chicago Grand Opera Company during the first half of the 20th century. Like many opera ventures in Chicago, both succumbed to financial difficulties within a few years, and it wasn't until 1954 that a lasting company was formed in the city.
The State Line Generating Plant was a coal-fired electrical generating station that operated from 1929 until 2012. It was located on the coast of Lake Michigan, bordering the state line separating Indiana from Illinois but within the corporate limits of Hammond, Indiana. As of 2008–09, it had a year-round capacity of 515 megawatts.
The Civic Opera Building is a 45-story office tower located at 20 North Wacker Drive in Chicago. The building opened November 4, 1929, and has an Art Deco interior. It contains a 3,563-seat opera house, the Civic Opera House, which is the second-largest opera auditorium in North America. Today, the opera house is the permanent home of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
Theodore Ritch was a Russian tenor. During the 1920s he was tenor of the Chicago Opera.
The Riverside Plaza is an art deco skyscraper located in Chicago, Illinois, United States. The building was designed by Holabird & Roche/Holabird & Root and completed in 1929. The 26-story building is 302 feet (120.7 m) tall. It was known as the Chicago Daily News Building until the newspaper of the same name ceased publication in 1978.
Alice D'Hermanoy, born Alice Saintenoy, was a Belgian lyric soprano who sang with the Chicago Civic Opera in the 1920s.
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Auditions: Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End auditioning this month for Elkhart Civic Theatre
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Colleen Williamson and Truth in Jazz featured at “Swingin’ in the Gardens” June 7
Civic Opera House Tickets. 20 N Wacker Dr # 400 Chicago, IL. Tickets.Expert is a resale marketplace, not a box office or venue. Ticket prices may be above or below. Located in the heart of downtown Chicago, the Civic Opera House is a hybrid of Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles and is considered to be one of the world's most beautiful. Built in 1929 and restored to its original splendor, it not only boasts gracious surroundings, but excellent sight lines and premium acoustics.
ECT Friend and Mentor Frank Brush passes away.
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Elkhart Civic Theatre announces educational initiative in honor of Michael Cripe
“Multi-talented” and “multi-faceted” are words used often to describe Michael Cripe, who spent a lifetime successfully and enthusiastically engaged in theatre.
Michael graduated from Elkhart Central High School in 1977 where he started using his theatrical talents. But he had already begun performing at Elkhart Civic Theatre in April of 1976 in the musical, Gigi.
He went on to perform in, direct and choreograph many more shows at ECT off and on throughout the rest of his life, including such shows as Pippin, Singin’ in the Rain and Smoke on the Mountain.
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