The Lyric Opera of Chicago has been awarded a $2 million grant to expand its community engagement and to support the world premiere of an opera based on a popular novel.
The Lyric's general director Anthony Freud announced the grant from the Andrew Mellon Foundation on Wednesday.
Freud says part of the money will help fund the creation of a new initiative called Lyric Unlimited, which will include a variety of community engagement projects to be announced soon.
Another part of the Mellon Foundation grant will provide support for the previously announced world-premiere commission, "Bel Canto." The new opera is based on the bestselling novel by Ann Patchett, which was inspired by a hostage crisis in Peru.
The Lyric will premiere Bel Canto during its 2015-16 season.