Lyric Opera Singers Pay Tribute to All Things Animal at GSU’s Center for Performing Arts on Sept. 24

The Animal Instinct
Image Provided

Featuring “Animal-Friendly” Tasting Menu

University Park, IL—(ENEWSPF)—September 12, 2017. The popular Opera Up Close series at Center for Performing Arts has done it again. Known for its unique, themed pairings of opera, food and wine, series producer John Concepcion stretches his creativity once again with an animal-themed feast of song. The Animal Instinct is the newest addition to the Center’s innovative opera line-up, to be performed only on Sunday, September 24 at 4 p.m. The ticket price for The Animal Instinct is $55 and includes a sampling of “animal-friendly” vegetarian dishes including warm spinach and artichoke dip, caramelized onion and chevre tarts, exotic mushroom arancini, a glass of wine, and more.

Visit the pound, the park, the cat pole, the farm and even the wild— all in one afternoon. Rear-screen projection of animals in action will set the scene, as local singers from the Lyric Opera salute them in song with favorites like Aaron Copland’s I Bought Me a Cat, Tom Lehrer’s Poisoning Pigeons in the Park, Georges Bizet’ Vôtre Toast (from Carmen), Maurice Ravel’s Le Paon, Flanders & Swann’s The Armadillo, and more!

The Opera Up Close series offers a unique and up-close experience for audience members. Rather than hearing the music from the perspective of the auditorium, patrons are seated on the stage for an unparalleled vantage point. Producer John Concepcion will narrate the afternoon, providing plot points, historical tidbits and trivia about the operas and composers.

Meet the singers and their animals!

John Concepcion
John Concepcion (Image Provided)

John Concepcion (host/narrator) had many pets but his favorite was Huckleberry, a Bassett Hound that loved to dig, howl and eat everything.

Carl Frank (baritone) does ‘Tuesday Zoozday’ with the family! Current family favorite animals include giraffes and hippos.

Paul Hamilton (pianist) especially loved his childhood mutt, Busch, and once attempted to sleep overnight in the dog house with him. That lasted about 4 minutes: time flies when you’re having fun.

Susan Nelson (soprano) was the proud co-owner of parakeets, rabbits, hamsters, and a chocolate lab named Flicka – these days, she’s thrilled to have kept two plants alive for the past year, and has recently acquired two more.

Emily Price (mezzo-soprano) definitely considers herself a “cat person.” Her first pet was a cat named P.C., short for pussycat. Figuring if it isn’t broke, her next pet was also a cat, creatively also named P.C.

Joseph Shadday (tenor) had many pets, but one of the most memorable was a dog named Baxter. He’s the most loyal, compassionate, cuddly, and adventurous dog that ever lived!

Tickets may be purchased online at or by calling 708-235-2222.

The box office is open 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday-Friday (open late until 6p.m. on Thursdays) and two hours prior to performances.

Programming is supported in part by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency.

GSU Center for Performing Arts is located at 1 University Parkway, University Park, Il 60484. For Best GPS directions, please use Governors State University only. Parking is free.