Lyric Opera of Chicago

Lyric presents Cait O'Connor LA TRAVIATA Retrospective

For immediate release:
Thursday, January 30, 2014


Lyric Opera of Chicago presents 
Cait O'Connor La Traviata  Retrospective 
Featuring new works 
Open February - May at Civic Opera House 
Free to ticket holders

Lyric Opera of Chicago is proud to present an all-new exhibition by noted visual artist and costume designer Cait O'Connor. Opening on January 31, this installation features costumes, wigs, and accessories from Lyric's recent new production of La Traviata  designed by O'Connor. Also on display are six new works inspired by her experience with the production, specifically created for this special gallery show.

Praised by Opera News as "adroitly suggest[ing] the contrived gaiety of the courtesan's milieu" and described by the Chicago Tribune as "decadent," Cait O'Connor's work for La Traviata was evocative for the audience and inspirational for the artist. In addition to the six newly created works, pieces from the production on display include Violetta's extravagant red ball gown and the bull puppet from the Act Two party scene, angel and Valkyrie wings, Marie Antoinette-style wigs, and other costumes and accessories. All pieces will be displayed with original sketches and renderings that O'Connor created during her design process. The exhibition was curated by Scott Marr, Lyric's production design director.

Located in the Opera Club Wine Cellar on the lower level of the Civic Opera House, the exhibit will first be open to the public as part of the 30th annual Fantasy of the Opera Gala, Petals and Pearls,  on Friday, January 31 at 6:30 p.m. Tickets for Fantasy of the Opera - featuring cocktails, gourmet food, silent auction, celebrity cabaret, and dancing - begin at $275.

The exhibit will also be open to operagoers free of charge before and during intermissions of all Lyric Opera performances throughout the rest of the season: The Barber of Seville  (Feb. 1-28), Rusalka  (Feb. 22-Mar. 16), La Clemenza di Tito  (Mar. 5-23), and The Sound of Music  (Apr. 25-May 18).

About the Artist

Cait O'Connor grew up in New York City. She completed her BA in Semiotic Studies/Chemistry at Bennington College in Vermont and her MFA in Theatrical Design at NYU. Her work focuses on perception, memory and self-using design and painting to explore spectacle and intimacy. O'Connor works in theater, dance, film, and opera, as well as exhibiting in galleries and museums in the United States and abroad. She holds a faculty position within the MFA Directing Program at Brown University.

Recent theater projects include: Massacre (Sing to your Children),  dir. Brian Mertes - Rattlestick Theater; Titus Andronicus,  dir. Michael Sexton - The Public Theater; The Witch of Edmonton,  dir. Jesse Berger - Red Bull Theater; Hamlet,  The Wooster Group - St. Ann's Warehouse. Recent painting and drawing exhibitions include: Wildly Different Things,  Blueleaf Gallery-Dublin;Leisure,  Dacia Gallery - NYC; Girls I Know, Grand Rapids Public Museum - MI; First Cut,  M. Herrington Gallery - CA; High Ornament,  Monique Goldstrom Gallery - NYC.

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