Sir Andrew Davis hands Lyric Opera of Chicago baton to Enrique Mazzola

Martin Cullingford Fri 13th September 2019

Italian conductor takes over with 2021/22 season

Enrique Mazzola takes over at Lyric Opera of Chicago (photo: Jean-Baptiste Millot Photography)

Enrique Mazzola takes over at Lyric Opera of Chicago (photo: Jean-Baptiste Millot Photography)

Sir Andrew Davis is stepping down after two decades as Music Director of Lyric Opera of Chicago, to be succeeded by Enrique Mazzola. The change of leadership will begin with the 2021/22 season, with Mazzola taking the title of Music Director Designate with immediate effect.

‘I had actually intended to leave after the Ring cycles next spring,’ said Davis, ‘until Anthony [Freud, General Director, President & CEO] persuaded me to stay for one more season! It will be hard to leave, but the timing is right for me and I am confident that Enrique will be a splendid music director for Lyric.

‘Lyric has been my artistic and personal home for more than two decades, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the opportunities that I have enjoyed here, professionally and personally.’ Across three decades, Davis has conducted 674 opera performances at the company. 

Davis opens the company’s 65th season with Rossini’s The Barber of Seville on September 28, to be followed later in the season by Tchaikovsky’s The Queen of Spades and Wagner’s Ring cycle; Mazzola, meanwhile, begins rehearsals next week for Verdi’s Luisa Miller, opening October 12. 

Mazzola, also Principal Guest conductor at Deutsche Oper Berlin and until recently Artistic and Music Director of the Orchestre National d’Île-de-France, has appeared in Gramophone's pages conducting albums by such high-profile singers as Michael Fabiano, Julie Fuchs and Marie-Nicole Lemieux, as well as recordings of Rossini's Mosé in Egitto and Il barbiere di Siviglia, and Meyerbeer's Dinorah. He intends to make Chicago his principal residence. 

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