Lyric Opera of Chicago, opera company founded 1954 as the Lyric Theatre of Chicago; it was renamed prior to its 1956 season. The company performs at the ornate Lyric Opera House, formerly the Civic Opera House, which opened in 1929 and underwent extensive renovations in the 1990s. With a seating capacity of 3,563, it is the second-largest opera house in North America, after the Metropolitan Opera House. The company's first season included the American debut of Maria Callas, in Norma, and Luciano Pavarotti was a frequent performer with the company. Carol Fox was the founding general manager (1954–80). Sir Andrew Davis has been music director and principal conductor since 2000, and Anthony Freud has been general director since 2011. In addition to presenting classic and contemporary works, the company has produced mariachi and klezmer operas, and has an annual spring season of classic musicals.
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