The Rice Grand Foyer

20 N Upper Wacker Dr Chicago

Lyric Opera of Chicago/The Rice Grand Foyer
Lyric Opera of Chicago
Written By Lyric Opera of Chicago

Grand spectacle. The finest singers of our time. And immortal music performed by our internationally celebrated orchestra and chorus. #LongLivePassion

The Rice Grand Foyer

This is the grand foyer of the Civic Opera House, whose gilt cornices glitter beneath the sparkling lights of Austrian crystal chandeliers and elaborately stenciled ceilings. The space features a floor and wainscoting of pink and gray Tennessee marble, and fluted Roman travertine columns and pilasters. The 40-foot-high columns are topped with carved capitals covered in gold leaf. In early 1994 the space was named the Daniel F. and Ada L. Rice Grand Foyer in honor of major benefactors.

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The decorative character of the entire building is a hybrid of Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles.

Comedy-tragedy masks and cornucopia of instruments abound as playful ornaments around entrances, inspired by the Paris Opera House designed by Jean-Louis-Charles Garnier. The theater had never been fully repainted since it opened in 1929 — just patched and touched up as needed over the years. During the summer of 1996 more than 30 highly skilled artisans from around the country worked in the Civic Opera House six days a week, 10 hours a day, applying 2,000 gallons of gold paint to the elegant ornamentation of the auditorium, Rice Grand Foyer, and all lobbies.

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