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  • Terri VanValkinburgh, Assistant Principal Viola

Welcome to our Newest Players!

Ian Hallas, Bass: Amy Hess, Viola: Paul Dwyer, Asst. Principal Cello:Di Shi, Viola: Samuel Hamzem, Horn

Hey everyone, we're back! The Brain Trust is scraping off our brain rust and would like to introduce the newest members of the orchestra. We've got 2, count 'em, 2 new violists (that's 1/4 of a section), a brand-new bassist, a brand-new French horn player (also 1/4 of a section), and our semi-new, been around for a year, new assistant principal cellist! We feel very lucky to have gotten such wonderful, interesting people from all over the planet to work with and would like to show them off a bit. Here's our kind of new, yet been around the pit a bit, assistant principal cellist Paul Dwyer.

1. Where were you before you came to the Lyric and what were you doing?

For the past five years I've been living with Adriane (whom I married two years ago) in Brooklyn, NY. I originally went to the city because Juilliard invited me to be part of their new graduate program in historical performance, but I was still commuting to Ann Arbor to finish my final requirements for a doctorate there (it's complicated). Most of what I've been doing since then is early music and contemporary music, but – don't worry! – I still like everything in between. (Well, not everything.) My favorite ensembles to play with, other than the incredibly rocking Lyric Opera Orchestra, are Diderot String Quartet and ACRONYM.

2. Any pets? Kids?

Neither, yet (?!!!). I have two golden-retrievers-in-law who live with my parents-in-law up in Vermont. I try to claim them as my own as often as I can make it up there (the golden retrievers, not the parents; but the parents aren't bad either!).

3. What do you think of Chicago-style pizza?

I like it too much for my own good. However, if I had to choose just one pizza to take to a desert island for the rest of my life, it would probably be New York Style.

4. How do you feel about the Chicago tradition banning ketsup from hot dogs?

This is the first I've heard of this tradition and I'm utterly scandalized! Actually, I'm more of a mustard and horseradish guy, so drag that dawg through the garden all you want.

5. Have you discovered something fun/interesting about Chicago since you've been here?


6. Is there a book or movie/tv series you think would make a good opera?

"Think Big and Kick Ass" by Donald Trump. (Plenty of Park'n'Bark arias in that one!)

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