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Arts, Culture, Humanities : Performing Arts

Lyric Opera of Chicago

Energizing the art form of opera, combining the best of the old with the best of the new

three stars

89.87

20 North Wacker Drive Chicago, IL 60606
tel: (312) 332-2244   Web Site
EIN: 36-6008929

Board Leadership
Sylvia Neil
Chair Of The Board

CEO
Anthony Freud
General Director, President and CEO

  Score
(out of 100)
Rating
Overall Score & Rating 89.87 three stars
  Financial 86.25 three stars
  Accountability & Transparency 96.00 four stars
This rating was published 12/01/2020 and includes data from FY2019, the most recent 990 received at that time.

Lyric Opera of Chicago's mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form. Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent. Under the leadership of general director Anthony Freud and new music director Enrique Mazzola, Lyric strives to become the great North American opera company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.

Lyric Opera of Chicago's mission is to express and promote the life-changing, transformational, revelatory power of great opera. Lyric exists to provide a broad, deep, and relevant cultural service to Chicago and the nation, and to advance the development of the art form. Lyric is dedicated to producing and performing consistently thrilling, entertaining, and thought-provoking opera with a balanced repertoire of core classics, lesser-known masterpieces, and new works; to creating an innovative and wide-ranging program of community engagement and educational activities; and to developing exceptional emerging operatic talent. Under the leadership of general director Anthony Freud and new music director Enrique Mazzola, Lyric strives to become the great North American opera company for the 21st century: a globally significant arts organization embodying the core values of excellence, relevance, and fiscal responsibility.

Impact Information

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Reported Results
Total in 2019
Average dollar price for performance tickets
120
Number of mainstage productions offered
9
This impact information is current as of August 2020, when it was provided to us by GuideStar. At this time, Impact information published on this organization's page has no effect on its rating per our methodology.

Financial

three stars

86.25

Accountability & Transparency

four stars

96.00

This rating was published 12/01/2020 and includes data from FY2019, the most recent 990 received at that time.
Overall Rating Chart
  Program Expenses
(Percent of the charity's total expenses spent on the programs
and services it delivers)
82.9%
  Administrative Expenses 10.9%
  Fundraising Expenses 6.0%
  Fundraising Efficiency $0.16
  Working Capital Ratio (years) 2.04
  Program Expenses Growth -1.2%
  Liabilities to Assets 32.6%
All data for Financial Performance Metrics calculations was provided by Lyric Opera of Chicago on recent 990s filed with the IRS.
All data for Financial Performance Metrics calculations was provided by Lyric Opera of Chicago on recent 990s filed with the IRS.

Constituent Feedback

Charity Navigator believes nonprofit organizations that engage in inclusive practices, such as collecting feedback from the people/communities they serve, may be more effective. We've partnered with GuideStar by Candid to survey organizations about their feedback practices. Nonprofit organizations are encouraged to fill out the How We Listen section of their Candid profile.

Here's how this organization is listening and learning from the people they serve:
How is the organization collecting feedback?
Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Community meetings or town halls, Constituent (client or resident, etc) advisory committees, Suggestion box/email
How is the organization using feedback?
To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve
With whom is the organization sharing feedback?
The people we serve, Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our community partners
What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?
We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback
Describe a recent change in your organization that resulted from feedback.
Note: This organization did not answer this question
This Constituent Feedback information is provided to us by Candid. At this time, Constituent Feedback information published on this organization's page has no effect on its star rating per our methodology.

Highly Rated

Charity Name & State Overall Score Overall Rating
Lyric Opera of Chicago (IL) 89.87 three stars
Cincinnati Opera (OH) 90.92 four stars
San Francisco Opera (CA) 87.10 three stars
Opera Omaha (NE) 96.31 four stars
Choral Arts (DC) 86.24 three stars

Compare These Charities (Highly Rated)

REVENUE  
Contributions  
   Contributions, Gifts & Grants $35,862,287
   Federated Campaigns $0
   Membership Dues $0
   Fundraising Events $3,120,253
   Related Organizations $0
   Government Grants $137,900
Total Contributions $39,120,440
   Program Service Revenue $32,510,099
Total Primary Revenue $71,630,539
   Other Revenue $9,759,220
TOTAL REVENUE $81,389,759
   
EXPENSES  
   Program Expenses $65,737,731
   Administrative Expenses $8,740,391
   Fundraising Expenses $5,530,275
TOTAL FUNCTIONAL EXPENSES $80,008,397
   
Payments to Affiliates $0
Excess (or Deficit) for the year $1,381,362
   
Net Assets $201,207,845

Program names and associated costs are listed for the top programs as reported on the charity's most recently filed Form 990. The top programs displayed will include the largest three programs, or those programs covering at least 60% of the charity's total expenses, whichever comes first.

Program Name Amount Spent % of Program Expenses
Performances $63,115,866 96.0%
Lyric Unlimited $1,842,166 2.8%
Other Public Performances $779,699 1.2%

Ratings History

Form 990 FYE Date Published Overall Score Overall Rating
CN 2.1
2019-06 12/01/2020 89.87 three stars
2018-06 12/20/2019 91.61 four stars
2018-06 10/01/2019 90.67 four stars
2017-06 06/01/2019 91.48 four stars
2017-06 12/01/2018 89.58 three stars
2016-06 02/01/2018 89.15 three stars
2015-06 12/01/2016 89.10 three stars
2014-06 06/01/2016 89.18 three stars
 
CN 2.0
2014-06 10/01/2015 89.30 three stars
2012-04 09/01/2013 87.17 three stars
2011-04 07/01/2012 83.27 three stars
2010-04 09/20/2011 86.26 three stars
 
CN 1.0
2009-04 11/24/2010 81.48 three stars
2008-04 08/01/2009 88.44 three stars
2007-04 08/01/2008 91.92 four stars
2006-04 04/01/2008 90.20 four stars
2005-04 05/01/2006 91.63 four stars
2004-04 03/01/2005 85.81 three stars
2003-04 01/01/2004 90.19 four stars
2002-04 02/05/2003 84.79 three stars

The data displayed on this tab is provided by the IRS in the form of Publication 78 and the Business Master File (BMF).

EIN 36-6008929
Name in IRS Master File LYRIC OPERA OF CHICAGO
NTEE Code A6A
NTEE Classification Opera
NTEE Type Arts, Culture and Humanities
Classification Educational Organization
Subsection 501(c)(3)  (View the list of codes)
Activities (119) Other cultural or historical activities
(59) Other school related activities
(927) Fundraising
Foundation Status Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public   170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
Deductibility Contributions are deductible
Affiliation Independent - the organization is an independent organization or an independent auxiliary (i.e., not affiliated with a National, Regional, or Geographic grouping of organizations).
Group Name [Not Applicable]
Ruling Date July, 1957
Filing Requirement 990 (all other) or 990EZ return
Fiscal Year End June
IRS Forms 990
(provided courtesy of Foundation Center)
(Log In or Register Now to View Forms 990!)
  • June, 2017
  • June, 2016
  • June, 2015
  • June, 2014
  • June, 2013
Compensation % of Expenses Paid to Title
$697,984 0.87% Anthony Freud General Director, President & CEO

Highly Rated

Charity Name & State Overall Score Overall Rating
Lyric Opera of Chicago (IL) 89.87 three stars
Sarasota Opera (FL) 86.73 three stars
Choral Arts (DC) 86.24 three stars
Cincinnati Opera (OH) 90.92 four stars
Lyric Opera of Kansas City (MO) 94.24 four stars

Compare These Charities (Highly Rated)

This charity has an official representative registered with Charity Navigator.

Official Charity Response

Lyric's rating dropped from four stars to three becuase of a marginal drop of less than two points (out of 100) in our score. The score decreased because we slightly reduced our program expenses. Charity Navigator values and rewards consistent growth in program expenses; classical performing arts organizations, however, must balance program expenses against changing audiences sizes and realistic philanthropic goals. The natural variation in the costs of presenting specific operas produces a natural variation in annual program expenditures. This small change in operating expenses is part of that natural variation between productions and seasons. We also believe it represents ongoing fiscal prudence, which Lyric considers a virtue. 

Constituent Feedback

This organization is sharing information on how they communicate with stakeholders to better inform your giving.

Charity Contact Info

Lyric Opera of Chicago
20 North Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60606
tel: (312) 332-2244
fax: (312) 419-8345
EIN: 36-6008929

Visit Web Site

Board Leadership

Sylvia Neil
Chair Of The Board

CEO

Anthony Freud
General Director, President and CEO

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