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Enrique Mazzola, music director designate at Lyric Opera of Chicago. (Photo: Jean-Baptiste Millot)

“Sole e Amore,” Enrique Mazzola’s newest project, will include two dozen songs by seven of the most beloved Italian opera composers of the 19th century, performed by 11 members of the Ryan Opera Center, Lyric’s renowned artist development program.

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A scene from “Before Fiddler: Hershey Felder as Sholem Aleichem.” (Courtesy of Hershey Felder)

Streaming through Sunday, “Before Fiddler” is the latest of the many remarkable feats of musical storytelling from Hershey Felder, the multitalented writer, actor, pianist and producer renowned for his solo shows about composers.

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(Illustration by Rajiv Joseph)

Any description of Rajiv Joseph’s mini-play — the newest entry in Steppenwolf Theatre’s NOW series of virtual programming that runs about 11 minutes — might make it sound like just a quick virtual doodle. But it is much more than that.

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Associate Concertmaster Stephanie Jeong. (Credit: Todd Rosenberg Photography)

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s CSOtv Sessions series is, without question, the finest virtual music treasure created in response to the COVID-19 plague year. Those who have yet to revel in its delights are encouraged to catch its two newest entries: Episodes #11 and #12.

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Illusionist, mentalist and performance artist Scott Silven in “The Journey,” streaming live at Chicago Shakespeare Theater through Jan. 24, 2021. (Photo: David Wilkinson, Empirical Photography)

Created and performed by Scott Silven, a young actor, writer, illusionist, mentalist and masterful storyteller, “The Journey” is a mesmerizing riff on time, space, memory, human connection, and the tricks that our very own existence can play on us.

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(Courtesy Remy Bumppo Theatre Company)

Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” has long been the standard-bearer of the December theater season. But a subsequent and far less familiar novella is now receiving a bravura solo rendition courtesy of Remy Bumppo Theatre.

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Hershey Felder in “A Paris Love Story.” (Credit: Christopher Ash)

For several decades, Hershey Felder has created a series of richly theatrical biographies of great composers. His latest work, “A Paris Love Story,” follows that essential pattern but adds a heartbreaking layer of autobiography.

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Mezzo-soprano Annie Rosen in “Rimsky Rebooted.” (Credit: Sean Su for Chicago Opera Theater)

With the coronavirus pandemic foiling plans for a trio of live performances, Chicago Opera Theater has adapted its 2020-2021 season to be a primarily virtual one. 

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Assistant Concertmaster Yuan-Qing Yu (Credit: Todd Rosenberg Photography)

The doors of Chicago’s Symphony Center may be closed to its audiences until the pandemic has been conquered. But its stage is still very much alive.

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Pictured (from left): Steppenwolf ensemble members K. Todd Freeman and Jon Michael Hill in Steppenwolf’s virtual production of “What Is Left, Burns” by James Ijames, directed by Whitney White. (Photography and design by Lowell Thomas)

James Ijames’ 20-minute play marks the opening salvo in Steppenwolf Now — a series of six virtual productions designed to serve as placeholders until there is a return to live theater — a return that seems ever more elusive.

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“Spamalot.” (Credit: Brett Beiner)

This year’s announcement of the 2020 Jeff Awards, which honor excellence in Chicago’s Equity contract theaters, took the form of a virtual event. Here is a list of the top award winners.

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Hilary Asare in a play about Lady Bird Johnson, in the world premiere of “45 Plays for America’s First Ladies.” (Courtesy of The Neo-Futurists)

The Neo-Futurists go virtual with “45 Plays for America’s First Ladies,” a 100-minute world premiere collage created by the company of writer-directors that was established in Chicago in 1988.

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CSO Flute and Piccolo Jennifer Gunn. (Credit: Todd Rosenberg Photography)

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s newly devised CSO Sessions programming provides ample proof that “adversity is the mother of invention.” And its initial series of five on-demand, beautifully filmed video recordings is a sheer delight.

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Neala Barron (left) and Lucy Godinez perform “My Own Best Friend” from “Chicago” in “Broadway By the Decade” from Porchlight Music Theatre. (Courtesy of Porchlight Music Theatre)

The 45-minute “Broadway By the Decade,” performed by a gifted six-person cast, features representative songs from musicals spanning 10 decades.

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The CSO’s Lincoln Quartet composed of violinists Qing and Lei Hou, Lawrence Neuman on the viola and cellist Kenneth Olsen perform in a virtual recital in August. (Clay Baker / Chicago Symphony Orchestra)

For now, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra will be focused on intimate, virtual experiences for its fall 2020 season, which includes the launch of a new digital series of performances. 

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Cara Marie Gary in “The Nutcracker.” (Photo by Cheryl Mann)

This fall was to mark the Joffrey’s first season in its new home on the Lyric Opera stage after many years of residence at the Auditorium Theatre.