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Lyric Opera of Chicago: Should a Classic Brand Change Its Tune?


Late at night on November 3, 2018, Anthony Freud, the president and CEO of Lyric Opera of Chicago (LOC), sat alone in his office in the historic 1929 art deco building that housed the famed opera company's theater and operations.

Earlier in the evening, Freud had donned his tuxedo to attend the gala opening night of LOC's season, which featured Wagner's third Ring opera, "Siegfried," a five-hour musical marathon headlined by soprano Christine Goerke and bass-baritone Eric Owens. All 3,563 seats in the auditorium had been filled, and the performances had earned standing ovations.

Despite the success of the evening, Freud was unsettled.  It was clear to him that the status quo would not enable LOC to survive, let alone thrive, but he was grappling with the question of the strategy the organization should take. He needed clarity—and soon—because he was due to present his 2019 strategic plan to LOC's board of directors in just a few weeks.




Jim Lecinski

Date Published



Lecinski, Jim. Lyric Opera of Chicago: Should a Classic Brand Change Its Tune?. Case 5-420-750.


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