By Francisco Salazar
Chicago Harris Theater is set to hold the world premiere of “The Factotum.”
The work, which was commissioned by the Lyric Opera of Chicago will be performed for the first time on Feb. 3, 2023 for five performances.
The opera by Grammy-nominated baritone Will Liverman and DJ King Rico showcases a blend of diverse musical styles with imagination to create a soul opera, moving from gospel and funk to rap, hip-hop, classic barbershop quartet, and R&B.
The story of “The Factotum” takes place in a Black barbershop on Chicago’s South Side to celebrate the strength of the community. The Lyric Opera commissioned local artist Barrett Keithley to create three murals, all adjacent to barbershops on Chicago’s South and West Sides. The image of this first mural has become the poster art for the opera.
The opera is set to star Martin Luther Clark, Gabriella Reyes, Norman Garrett, Melody Betts, Keirsten Hodgens, Symone Harcum, Lunga Eric Hallam, Terrence Chin-Loy, Adam Richardson, Ron Dukes, and Christian Makai Lucas.