The Lyric Opera Lecture Series returns to the Main Library beginning Sunday, Sept. 14. Presented by the docents of Lyric's dedicated and award-winning Education Corp., four Sunday afternoon discussions will share fascinating background and details to bring these classic operas to life in the Main Library Veterans Room, all starting at 2 pm. To find related recordings and materials, search the catalog. To learn more about each opera, visit Lyric Opera of Chicago.

Sept. 14: Don Giovanni by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

It’s said that bad boys finish last. With a list of conquests longer than a phonebook, Don Giovanni travels the world, snaring princesses and peasant girls alike. Literally thousands succumb. This time, his victim is the virtuous Donna Anna. And when her father tries to save her, the Don murders him. But the lecherous killer has finally gone too far —and his victims want revenge.  Sir Andrew Davis is on the podium as famed director Robert Falls and a sparkling cast open the season with Mozart's masterpiece —which George Bernard Shaw called "the greatest opera ever written."

Oct. 12: Il Trovatore by Guiseppe Verdi

Emotions boil in this action-packed story that includes babies switched at birth, kidnapping, mistaken identity, poisoning, civil strife, witches burned at the stake, and a noblewoman who offers herself to a man she hates, to save the man she loves. High drama and some of the most famous music Verdi ever composed — including the "Anvil Chorus"!

Nov. 2: Porgy and Bess by George Gershwin

The great American opera — bursting with iconic songs that have moved easily into the worlds of jazz and pop, becoming hits again for generation after generation. Six years after its triumphant Lyric debut, Francesco Zambello's big, beautiful, epic production returns with its finely etched portrait of life in Catfish Row — a vibrant but impoverished African-American community on the South Carolina coast.                             

Jan. 11: Tosca by Giacomo Puccini

A fiery diva, the rebel artist who claims her heart, and the sadistic police chief before whom all Rome trembles — for more than a hundred years, audiences have watched and listened spellbound as the cat-and-mouse game between Tosca and Scarpia plays to its deadly conclusion. Will she submit to his lust to save her lover from the firing squad.