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Full Circle

Olivia as Gretel, StaatsoperHamburg, Germany 2022

Soprano Olivia Boen, daughter of Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra violinist Laura Miller and Principal Horn Jon Boen, made her professional principal role debut as Gretel in Humperdink’s beloved opera Hänsel & Gretel at the Staatsoper Hamburg, Germany in early December.

First grader Olivia Boen and fellow LOC children's chorus member Renata Rose, Hänsel & Gretel 2001

21 years ago, six-year-old Olivia had her very first stage experience at the Lyric Opera of Chicago singing in the children’s chorus for our 2001 production of Hänsel & Gretel. As Olivia puts it, “a full circle”. Children who grow up with music in their lives are fortunate, especially when they learn to sing or play an instrument themselves. They learn the discipline that goes along with practice and performance and the joy of making music in community. With an early love of opera, Olivia went on to study voice at Oberlin Conservatory and from there to London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama pursuing the Opera Course. She graduated with a mark of Distinction in both her Artist Masters and Artist Diploma degrees. During her years in London, she gave performances at the Barbican as a finalist in the Guildhall Gold Medal Competition in 2021 and performed Strauss’ “Four Last Songs” with the London Schools Symphony Orchestra. Olivia was chosen to participate in Wigmore Hall’s “French Song Exchange”, working closely with Dame Felicity Lott (a frequent guest artist at Lyric Opera) culminating in a recital at the Wigmore in October, 2022. She made her debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, singing Beethoven’s Concert Aria “Ah perfido!” at the invitation of our own Sir Andrew Davis in June 2022. Olivia is currently a City Music Foundation Artist, and a Samling Artist, programs which promote and manage talented young solo performers.

Her very proud parents will travel to Hamburg to hear her sing Gretel on December 11th. Brava Olivia!

Bows after a performance, Staatsoper Hamburg, Germany

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