MICHIGAN CITY — Artists from the Chicago Lyric Opera gave a sneak preview of their 2019-2020 season on Aug. 25 at Friendship Botanic Gardens in Michigan City.

The 13th annual Lyric Opera in the Gardens drew a record-breaking crowd, Friendship Gardens said.

Chicago Lyric Opera artists Maia Surace, Cornelius V. Johnson III, Aaron Wardell and Rose Guccione performed arias from Mozart’s “Don Giovanni,” Un Bel di vedremo’s “Madama Butterfly” as well as Broadway favorites “42nd Street,” “Showboat” and for the first time, “Hamilton!”

Program favorites included "Journey" from "Dead Man Walking," "Can’t Help Lovin That Man" from "Showboat," and the Broadway performance of "Summertime" from "Porgy and Bess."

Prior to the performances, guests enjoyed wine and light hors d'oeuvres in the garden setting during the cocktail hour. A two-hour recital followed with a short intermission in between arias.

“Our tradition and mission continues to be to enrich our community with cultural events that not only surprise, but delight, our audiences,” said Rima Binder, event chair of the Lyric Opera at Friendship Botanic Gardens.

“Many guests in attendance commented that they were thrilled with the gorgeous music and perfect venue and had already mentioned how excited they are for next year.” 

The Gardens are already in the planning stages for 2020’s performances, which will take place in the new Celebration Pavilion that can house up to 250 music enthusiasts and overlooks Lake Lucerne. 

“We are so excited and grateful for the community’s support with an overflowing crowd,” John Leinweber, president of the Board of Directors said. “Next year our venue will be bigger and provide even better acoustics. We are looking forward to yet another extraordinary performance in 2020.” 

Friendship Botanic Gardens is located at 2055 E. U.S. 12, Michigan City. For more information, call 219-878-9885 or visit www.friendshipgardens.org.

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