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Archive for August 3rd, 2016

Guardian US Publishes Exposé of Chicago Police’s ‘Skullcap Crew’

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2016 Comments Off on Guardian US Publishes Exposé of Chicago Police’s ‘Skullcap Crew’

From: The Invisible Institute

A decade after Jamie Kalven’s ‘Kicking the Pigeon’ series first detailed Skullcap Crew’s human rights abuses, Invisible Institute and Social Justice News Nexus publish new investigation of five officers known for terrorizing citizens


CHICAGO, IL – Today the Guardian US published a new investigation into the long misconduct complaint histories of five Chicago police officers known as the Skullcap Crew. The story was produced in collaboration with the Social Justice News Nexus fellowship at the Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications at Northwestern University, with support from the Invisible Institute.

Appearing more than 100 times in official misconduct complaints and in more than 20 federal civil lawsuits, the Skullcap Crew is a group of officers who once patrolled Chicago’s South Side public housing communities, as first documented by journalist Jamie Kalven in the “Kicking the Pigeon” series in 2005.

For years, citizens have repeatedly filed complaints about the Skullcap Crew officers — Edwin Utreras, Robert Stegmiller, Christ Savickas, Andrew Schoeff and Joe Seinitz — alleging brutality, intimidation and harassment. All of these officers are still on the force except for Seinitz, who resigned in 2007. The rest remain in good standing, except Stegmiller, who is now relegated to desk duty after a November 2015 arrest for retail theft in suburban Orland Park, where he was accused of stealing more than $300 worth of merchandise from a Target store. Surveillance video captures the incident.

The Guardian investigation found:

  • Despite costing the city hundreds of thousands of dollars in lawsuit settlements over the course of their careers, these officers have received little discipline — a two-day suspension, a five-day suspension, and a reprimand — according to city data. Instead, they have garnered praise from the department, accruing more than 180 commendations.

  • The members of the Skullcap Crew have at least 128 official allegations of abuse from more than 60 known citizen-filed complaints among them over about a decade and a half. The Guardian’s analysis of these accusations – some previously unpublished and yet to be published — shows that about a third of these claims include Use of Force violations, almost half of which involved injuries.

  • The allegations also include at least five strip searches and more than 20 claims of false arrest or planting drugs.  The vast majority – 87% – were filed by African Americans. And African Americans accounted for 100% of the victims of allegations in the verbal abuse, false arrest and conduct unbecoming of an officer while off duty categories.

  • Very few of these allegations, however, were sustained and even fewer punished. Out of the known citizen-filed misconduct complaints (containing at least 128 separate allegations) from misconduct complaints against the five Skullcap Crew members, only six complaints, or less than 5%, resulted in a sustained finding, where disciplinary action was recommended.

The Guardian investigation into these officers’ history of misconduct allegations picks up where Jamie Kalven left off a decade ago. Since then, a federal civil rights suit that arose out of Kalven’s reporting on the abuses of the Skullcap Crew—Bond v. Utreras—ultimately led to a watershed decision of the Illinois Appellate Court in 2014, Kalven v. City of Chicago, establishing that police misconduct records are public in Illinois. Now the Citizens Police Data Project, housed at the Invisible Institute, features a special section for the known misconduct complaint histories of the Skullcap Crew, as well as the underlying report narratives — the most comprehensive published body of complaints for a group of Chicago Police Officers.

“Over the years, I witnessed members of the Skullcap Crew abuse public housing residents again and again,” Jamie Kalven said recently.  “They acted with impunity, secure in the knowledge they would never face meaningful discipline. This was due not only to the absence of effective accountability systems. It was also due to the social status of their victims. The lesson is clear: to achieve meaningful police reform, we must address conditions of racial inequality that create space for abuse.”

The Invisible Institute is a nonprofit Chicago-based journalistic production company that works to enhance the capacity of civil society to hold public institutions accountable. Toward that end, we develop strategies to expand and operationalize transparency. We seek to make visible perspectives too often excluded from public discourse. And we develop social interventions designed to leverage necessary reforms. Among the tools we employ are human rights documentation, investigative reporting, civil rights litigation, the curating of public information, conceptual art projects, and the orchestration of difficult public conversations.



For more information, contact: Contact: Alison Flowers, 303-246-6297, alison.flowers@gmail.com

NAACP Supports Kentucky Judge Facing Panel for Jury Stance

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2016 Comments Off on NAACP Supports Kentucky Judge Facing Panel for Jury Stance

BALTIMORE, MD — Attorneys with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People have written to the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission in support of Judge Olu Stevens, a Jefferson County Circuit Court judge who has been suspended after refusing to allow jurors to be selected from nearly all-white jury panels in criminal cases in Louisville.  Judge Olu Stevens is scheduled to appear before the commission on Aug. 8, 2016.

In the letter, the NAACP maintains that racial and ethnic diversity on juries considering criminal cases is of critical importance in our multi-racial and multi-ethnic society, as jurors from different backgrounds often bring different perspectives to the evidence presented to them in court.

NAACP has both submitted a letter to the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission and, along with the National Bar Association, submitted an amicus curiae brief to the Kentucky Supreme Court in support of Judge Stevens.

In presiding over jury selection in criminal cases assigned to him, the NAACP believes Judge Stevens has exercised his judicial discretion in determining that the jury panels in those cases were not representative of the racial diversity in the community of Louisville.  He dismissed nearly all-white jury panels in favor of panels that were more reflective of the diversity within the Louisville community, and the petit juries were ultimately selected from those panels.

“This is an issue of great importance for the NAACP,” said Cornell William Brooks, NAACP President and CEO.  “Jury diversity is critical to ensuring defendants, and the public at large, that the criminal justice system is capable of being impartial and fair to all persons.”

When his actions were challenged by the Commonwealth’s Attorney, Judge Stevens made public statements on social media and elsewhere emphasizing the critical importance of ensuring racial diversity on jury panels in criminal cases involving African-American defendants, and questioning the motives of the Commonwealth’s Attorney in challenging the steps taken by Judge Stevens to ensure such diversity.  For these actions, Judge Stevens was suspended from his seat on the bench in April pending a hearing before the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission next week.

The NAACP strongly supports Judge Stevens’ efforts to ensure that the guilt or innocence of defendants in criminal cases –especially African-American defendants – is determined by juries that are broadly representative of the local community. The NAACP also maintains that Judge Stevens’ statements on matters of substantial public concern in his courtroom are supported by the First Amendment, and do not warrant disciplinary action.

In January 2016, the NAACP, along with the National Bar Association, filed an amicus brief in the Kentucky Supreme Court in the matter of Commonwealth of Kentucky v. James Doss, one of the criminal cases in which Judge Stevens dismissed a nearly all-white jury panel.  In that case, the jury acquitted the defendant of the crime charged.

Judge Stevens’ case will be heard by the Kentucky Judicial Conduct Commission on August 8, 2016.

Senator Collins Announces Good News for Struggling Homeowners: Making Home Affordable Program Extended in Illinois

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2016 Comments Off on Senator Collins Announces Good News for Struggling Homeowners: Making Home Affordable Program Extended in Illinois

 SPRINGFIELD, IL – Illinois State Senator Jacqueline Y. Collins (D-Chicago 16th) announced good news for Illinois homeowners struggling to avoid foreclosure or to protect their legal rights against lenders. Legislation she sponsored so that Illinois residents can continue to participate in the federal Making Home Affordable program was signed into law today and takes effect immediately.

“We know the housing crisis is not over for every homeowner in every neighborhood, and the federal government recognized this when it extended the Making Home Affordable program through the end of this year,” said Collins, a frontline champion of those affected by foreclosure, mortgage scams and other threats to homeownership. “I’ve made it my mission to ensure Illinois residents can take advantage of all applicable federal assistance to stay in their homes whenever possible.”

Making Home Affordable gives struggling homeowners options – such as refinancing, a modification of mortgage terms, a short sale in lieu of foreclosure or a temporary forbearance for unemployment – when they become unable to make monthly payments and apply to the federal government for help. If the lender continues to foreclose on and sell the home in violation of the Making Home Affordable Act and if the borrower applied for assistance by the deadline, Illinois law allows the borrower to ask a court to set aside the sale. Collins’ proposal, which becomes law today, extends the date by which the borrower is required to have asked for help under Making Home Affordable in order to ensure the justice system works for those whose lenders have violated rules while rushing to foreclosure.

Making Home Affordable is still accepting applications through Dec. 31, 2016. The new state law extends legal protections through Jan. 1, 2018, so that Illinois is prepared in case the federal government renews the program a second time.

Homeowners can learn more about Making Home Affordable and apply for assistance through www.makinghomeaffordable.gov or by calling (888) 995-HOPE.

Unique Program Helps Disadvantaged African Americans Reduce Their Bills Significantly During Economic Hardship

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2016 Comments Off on Unique Program Helps Disadvantaged African Americans Reduce Their Bills Significantly During Economic Hardship

Tiffany Glasper-Polk

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Tiffany Glasper-Polk is the CEO of My New Beginning Health, Wealth, and Wellness. She is a global leader expanding locally and globally. She is committed to helping others live a better life. She helps by bringing opportunities to others that needs help with economic growth and development due to economic hardship. Tiffany has 5 key principles that guides her when it comes to helping others vision, opportunity, success, freedom and integrity. She strives to give hope to individuals that have lost hope.

Tiffany can speak from personal experience on losing hope. She was once married with 2 kids and working as a nurse but one day she found herself single, unemployed, on food stamps, almost homeless and only $997 coming in monthly from child support. She had to find a way to survive off $997 monthly, but even that wasnt guaranteed or enough to pay her bills. She says although she was ashamed at first of being on food stamps she now realizes how grateful she was because they were a life saver and she was able to provide a decent meal for her kids to eat. Tiffany states she later became resourceful and found an innovative way to earn an income in order to provide for her kids. She began looking into other resources that she later found to be very beneficial to not only her but realized they can be beneficial to others as well. She states she had to do something because being homeless was not an option. Once she found her way, she became very visionary and started thinking of how she can use her new found resources to help others as well. She states that a close friend once told her that her passion will make provision for her purpose. Tiffany says she has dedicated herself to educating and helping others and she is very passionate about it.

Her mission is to educate, empower, and re-employ the African American community on how to live a better life during these hard economic times by showing them how to save money and or make money on essential products and services that they use every month. She says its as simple as 123 because she shows you how to make the system work for you. She says every month your bills come in (i.e. internet, cable, satellite, electric, gas, etc.) she can help you reduce them. We are all aware these bills can never be paid off but we know we need the services which makes them essential in our everyday life. She says when the bills come in monthly she can show you how to make an income come in along with them. She also works with business owners and shows them how she can help bring more revenue into their business. She also helps businesses get alternative funding when they are turned down by the bank. She says 3 minimum requirements is all that they need to start the process 6 months or longer in business, minimum credit score of 500, and 10,000 in revenue monthly. She also helps anyone that needs help starting a business. She also found a way to help bring more funds into the churches, schools and nonprofit organizations on a monthly basis. She also shows individuals that are looking to purchase a home get a 3 ½ % down payment. Tiffany says healthcare is a big issue and she can help many in that department to get affordable health insurance or health insurance alternatives that would allow everyone to reduce the cost of their healthcare expenses.

She says this can help the African American community because it will help to lead many to a life of financial freedom, and also have a significant decline in the poverty rate. Its clear that many of us were born poor but that doesnt mean we have to die poor. Not to mention you have so many African Americans that are truly struggling Tiffany pointed out. She says she doesnt mind helping her fellow man because this is her passion. “There are several looking for help and I seem to think I have the solution and answer,” she says.

For more details about the program, visit www.mynewbeginning.info or call (225) 209-8128

Photo Caption: Tiffany Glasper-Polk, CEO of My New Beginning Health, Wealth, and Wellness

President Obama Announces Presidential Delegation to the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2016 Comments Off on President Obama Announces Presidential Delegation to the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games

President Barack Obama announced the designation of the Presidential Delegation to Attend the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Federative Republic of Brazil.

Presidential Delegation to the Opening Ceremony of the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Summer Games

The Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro, Federative Republic of Brazil will be held on August 5, 2016.

The delegation will attend athletic events, meet with U.S. athletes, and attend the Opening Ceremony.

The Honorable John Kerry, Secretary of State of the United States, will lead the delegation.

Members of the Presidential Delegation

The Honorable Liliana Ayalde, U.S. Ambassador to the Federative Republic of Brazil, Department of State

The Honorable Mari Carmen Aponte, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Department of State

The Honorable Liz Allen, Deputy Assistant to the President and White House Deputy Communications Director

The Honorable Ellie Schafer, Special Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Visitors Office

Mr. Mark Spitz, nine-time Olympic gold medalist, one-time Olympic silver medalist, one-time Olympic bronze medalist, men’s swimming

New Novel Addresses Race in the Workplace

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2016 Comments Off on New Novel Addresses Race in the Workplace
A novel way to create conversation around race in the workplace

Listen In by Allison Manswell

Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — Many books on diversity rely on statistics to illuminate the issues of race in America. Others list pros and cons of diversity or defend the current status quo. Only Allison Manswells, Listen In: Crucial Conversations on Race in the Workplace takes a novel approach – literally.

The 100-page work of business fiction is set in todays corporate environment. Readers are able to Listen In as the characters, 5 African American professionals and entrepreneurs, discuss their professional struggles and personal experiences.

Like the readers, a curious CEO overhears the conversation and uses the information to revamp his companys approach to diversity and inclusion. And, its no longer business as usual.

While a work of fiction, the book is designed to make the real world better for everyone and give individual readers key strategies for career advancement. Howard J. Ross, an internationally recognized expert on diversity, says Allison Manswell has provided a thoughtful contribution to this challenge by giving us a way to conduct these conversations in a meaningful way. She approaches the issue with sensitivity and balance.

Manswell has been a human resources and talent management professional for over 18 years. Her book includes the issues of black hair, the contradiction of why height is not an advantage for Black males and how the #BlackLivesMatter movement impacts the workplace.

While the themes and blunt language pull no punches, the rewards to corporations include the ability to attract and retain minority talent, as well as, build trust and transform an organizations culture.

“The conversations we aren’t having are costing us trust, collaboration, and innovation. It is time to break the silence and move forward,” says Allison Manswell. The book is available on Amazon.com, and more details can be found at www.AllisonManswell.com


Photo Caption: Bookcover and author, Allison Manswell


Zika Virus Cases in Florida Linked to Local Mosquito Transmission

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2016 Comments Off on Zika Virus Cases in Florida Linked to Local Mosquito Transmission

Travel Update

SPRINGFIELD, IL – The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) echoes CDC’s recent recommendation that pregnant women avoid travel to an area in Miami, Florida, because of the risk of Zika virus.  This recommendation comes after the Florida Department of Health identified that Zika virus is being spread by mosquitoes in Wynwood, an area in one neighborhood of Miami. CDC recently announced that pregnant women should not travel to this area and has issued new guidance for people who traveled to this area any time after June 15, 2016.  This date represents the earliest time symptoms can start and the maximum 2-week incubation period for Zika virus.

CDC recommends that visitors to areas with Zika virus take special health precautions, particularly for pregnant women, their sexual partners, and individuals who may become pregnant.  Zika virus has been linked to birth defects, including microcephaly.

“We know that Miami is a popular travel destination for Illinoisans and we urge all residents to follow updated CDC recommendations, given that it is now possible to contract Zika virus in the United States,” said IDPH Director Nirav D. Shah, M.D., J.D.  “We want to make sure that people traveling to the Miami area have the facts so that they can protect themselves from becoming infected.”


Recommendations for pregnant wmen and their partners:

  • Pregnant women should not travel to this area.
  • Pregnant women and their partners traveling to this area should follow steps to prevent mosquito bites.
  • Women and men who traveled to this area and who have a pregnant sex partner should use condoms or other barriers to prevent infection every time they have sex or not have sex during the pregnancy.

  • Pregnant women who frequently travel to this area should be tested in the first and second trimester of pregnancy.
  • Pregnant women with possible Zika virus exposure and signs or symptoms of Zika virus should be tested for Zika virus.
  • Pregnant women who traveled to or had unprotected sex with a partner that traveled to or lives in this area should talk to their health care provider and should be tested for Zika virus.

Couples thinking about getting pregnant

  • Women with Zika should wait at least 8 weeks and men with Zika should wait at least 6 months after symptoms began before they try to get pregnant.
  • Women and men who traveled to this area or other areas where Zika is being transmitted should talk to their providers before they try to get pregnant.

Upon returning to Illinois, travelers should take precautions to prevent the spread of Zika virus, even if they don’t think they have it.  Travelers should watch for symptoms after returning home, call a health care provider immediately if they suspect Zika virus, use insect repellent for three weeks after travel, and use condoms during sex.

The public health community’s knowledge of Zika virus is evolving through this ongoing investigation.  As more information becomes available, CDC will modify these recommendations and IDPH will continue to issue updates. 

For more information, go to the IDPH websitehttp://www.dph.illinois.gov/diseases-and-conditions/zika-cdc.

Parents Encouraged to Include Emergency Preparedness in Back-to-School Plans

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2016 Comments Off on Parents Encouraged to Include Emergency Preparedness in Back-to-School Plans

August is School and Campus Preparedness Month in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, IL – In the next few weeks, students from pre-kindergarten through college will be headed back to school. As parents prepare their students for the new academic year, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency (IEMA) and local emergency management agencies across the state are encouraging parents to include emergency preparedness in their back-to-school plans.

“Emergencies can occur any time of the day or night, including when children are in school,” said IEMA Director James K. Joseph. “The start of a new school year is the perfect time to make sure you know your school’s plans for keeping students safe during an emergency and then talking to your child about those plans.”

Joseph offered several back-to-school planning tips for parents of school-aged children, including:

  • Find out where children will be taken in the event of an evacuation during school hours.

  • Ensure your current emergency contact information is on file at your child’s school.

  • Pre-authorize a friend or relative to pick up your children in an emergency and make sure the school knows who that designated person is.

  • Teach children with cell phones about ‘Text First, Talk Later.’ Short, simple text messages, such as “R U OK?” and “I’m OK,” are more likely to get through than a phone call if phone service is disrupted following an emergency. As phone congestion eases, you can follow up with a phone call to relay more information.

    Students headed off to college also need to be prepared for emergencies. Many college campuses offer email and text messages to alert students of potential dangers, such as severe weather and other threats. Encourage your college student to sign-up for such alerts. Some colleges also provide alert messages for parents so they also are aware of potential dangers on campus. In addition, make sure your student knows the emergency plans for their dorm or apartment building.

    Additional preparedness information is available on the Ready Illinois website at www.Ready.Illinois.gov

Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs: Missed Investment Income Despite 6-Month Budget

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2016 Comments Off on Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs: Missed Investment Income Despite 6-Month Budget

Portfolio Reveals Millions in Missed Opportunity for Second Quarter

CHICAGO, IL – The state of Illinois earned $7.9 million less in investment income in the second quarter of 2016 as a result of the year-long budget impasse, Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs said today. Despite the six-month budget plan signed on June 30, the last day of the fiscal year, $31 million remains the projection for missed earnings for 2016.

“The damage is already done. Even though we still made money from our investments, one year with no budget created missed opportunity for our state,” Frerichs said. “We will continue to assess the impact and adjust our investment strategy as needed to minimize further damage and do what is best for Illinois residents.”

The state of Illinois earned $7.8 million less in investment income in the first quarter of 2016. Threats of unplanned fund sweeps and the need to pay court-ordered bills required the treasurer’s office to make short-term investments that prioritized cash availability rather than longer-term, higher-yielding investment opportunities.

“A six-month budget deal is a step in the right direction, but falls short, making it difficult for Illinois agencies, organizations, and families to plan for the future,” Frerichs added. “I am hopeful that when the Governor and the General Assembly return to the table, they will put their non-budgetary items aside and focus on passing a full-year, balanced budget.”

With no budget in place for a full year, the treasurer’s office remains faced with a number of cash management and investment challenges. The treasurer’s office is responsible for managing the state’s investment portfolio, ensuring the liquidity, safety and diversification of investments, and producing earnings at or above industry standards.

While Frerichs’ office has increased the 30-day rate of return this year compared to last, the rate of increase has not kept pace with the overall market because of the move to a more cautious investment strategy as a result of the budget impasse.

During the budget impasse, the state increased its position in short-term, lower-yielding assets, such as overnight investments and money market funds, to ensure it had cash available in case of a multi-billion dollar fund sweep or another court-ordered increase in billings. This disruption of normal investment activities cost the state about $2.6 million per month, which represents money that would have been potentially earned if the state maintained its position in higher-yielding, longer term investments such as treasuries and agency securities.

The analysis compares the state’s overall asset allocation and term maturities each month and compares to March 2015, pre-budget impasse.


Chicago Premiere of Frank Martin’s “The Love Potion” (Le Vin Herbe”) to be Staged by Chicago Opera Theater at the Music Box Theatre September 30 – October 7, 2016

Posted by Admin On August - 3 - 2016 Comments Off on Chicago Premiere of Frank Martin’s “The Love Potion” (Le Vin Herbe”) to be Staged by Chicago Opera Theater at the Music Box Theatre September 30 – October 7, 2016

COT Brings Live Opera Performance to Historic Cinema with Martin’s Mystical Adaptation of Tristan and Isolde Story


CHICAGO, IL – For the first time ever, Chicago’s iconic Music Box Theatre will host a classical live performance when Chicago Opera Theater (COT) debuts the Chicago premiere of Frank Martin’s 1942 “The Love Potion” (“Le Vin Herbe”) on September 30. Martin’s adaptation of the medieval legend of Tristan and Isolde chronicles the relationship of the two lovers who meet by deception, fall in love by magic and pursue their love in defiance of heavenly and earthly powers. “The Love Potion” will be performed at the Music Box Theatre (3733 N Southport) on September 30 and October 7 and 9, 2016. The press performance will be September 30 at 7:30 p.m.

The oratorio begins with Tristan retrieving the reluctant Isolde so that she can be married to his uncle, King Mark. Isolde’s mother has brewed a love potion meant to enchant King Mark into falling in love with her daughter. Tristan and Isolde mistakenly drink the potion when their maid confuses it for wine and they fall irrevocably in love. King Mark discovers Tristan and Isolde’s love and declares vengeance. The lovers are able to escape the King and flee to the forest where they are quickly discovered propelling the story towards its climatic tragic end.

The libretto, originally by medievalist Joseph Bédier, was translated into English for this production by Hugh MacDonald.  “The Love Potion” will be conducted by Emanuele Andrizzi and directed and production designed by Chicago Opera Theater’s Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson General Director Andreas Mitisek. 

“Opera audiences are familiar with the story of Tristan and Isolde, thanks to Richard Wagner’s often-produced classic, but Martin’s take on this timeless tale is equally moving and musically hypnotic,” said Mitisek.  “One of our goals at Chicago Opera Theater is to bring our work to new audiences, and producing this work at the Music Box Theatre is in keeping with our mission.  It is an exceptional acoustic space and we are proud to bring this rarely seen work to Chicago audiences in a venue that serves it so well musically and aesthetically.”

Reviewing a 2013 production at the Berlin Staatsoper, A. J. Goldman of Opera News called Martin “distinctive and unjustly neglected” and called the piece “a work of startling economy and emotion” and that the composer had “succeeded in concocting a harmonically dense potion that, for all its dissonances, also goes down easy.” Bernard Holland, reviewing an earlier staging for the New York Times, called it “absolutely gripping… filled with dignity, mystery and a simplicity born of true sophistication… It ought to return so that more people can see and hear it.”  Jeremy Eichler, reviewing a 2014 Boston Lyric Opera production, called the piece “Mesmerizing… The score’s dissonant but ravishing musical language is a heady and highly personalized cocktail, indebted to Debussy yet at once updated and archaicized, its lulling waves giving voice to the characters’ strong emotions while at the same time keeping them at a precisely measured distance.”

Portraying the star-crossed lovers will be Lani Stait (Isolde) and Bernard Holcomb (Tristan).  Other principals include Brittany Loewen (Branghien), Kira Dills-Desurra (Isolde with White Hands), Cassidy Smith (Isolde’s Mother), Jonathan Weyant (Kaherdin), Nicholas Davis (King Mark) and Zacharias Niedzwiecki (Duke Hoël).  The ensemble includes Alexandra Martinez, Quinn Middleman, Patrick Dean Shelton and Samuel Weiser. The performers are members of COT’s Young Artists program, which is composed of students in the Professional Diploma in Opera Program at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts in conjunction with Chicago Opera Theater, headed by Scott Gilmore, The Director of Musical Studies at CCPA.

Performance Schedule
Friday, September 30, 7:30 p.m.
Friday, October 7, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 9, 3 p.m.Subscriptions for the 2016/17 season are now on sale. Single tickets will go on sale on August 10, 2016. Tickets will range in price from $50 – $75 and can be purchased by calling 312.704.8414 or via chicagooperatheater.org.The season continues on November 5 at the Studebaker Theater with three performances of “The Fairy Queen.” Composed in 1692 by Henry Purcell, “The Fairy Queen,” takes its inspiration from the mystical masques of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” creating the perfect world to explore relationships. On February 18, 2017, COT will present the co-world premiere with Long Beach Opera of “The Invention of Morel”. “Morel” is composed by Stewart Copeland and is based on “La invención de Morel” by Adolfo Bioy Casares. It is COT’s first-ever commissioned opera. The season will close with the Chicago premiere of Philip Glass’ 2013 “The Perfect American,” a fictionalized biography of Walt Disney’s life told through the musical lens of Philip Glass, melding delusions of the American Dream, immortality, and an empire.Creative Team
Stage Director and Production Design: Andreas Mitisek
Conductor: Emanuele Andrizzi
Orchestra: Chicago Philharmonic

Emanuele Andrizzi – Conductor
Andrizzi conducted “A Coffin in Egypt” at Chicago Opera Theater in 2015.  Educated in the rich musical tradition of the Rome’s Conservatory as a conductor, composer, and pianist, Andrizzi has become a versatile musician with vast experience in the symphonic and operatic repertoires and a passion for the many areas of the musical arts. As a conductor, he has collaborated with various symphonic and operatic companies. In the past several years, he has conducted at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Diego Opera, Orchestra della Città di Ravenna, Chicago Philharmonic, Salt Creek Ballet, and New Philharmonic, among others. He has also collaborated with important music festivals, including the Millennium Park and the Ravinia Festivals.  In the next few months, Mr. Andrizzi is going to debut with several important operatic companies, among which the Opera Theater of St. Louis, where he will conduct a production of Puccini’s “La Bohème.”

An active teacher and performer, Andrizzi has worked since August 2013 as the Conductor and Head of the Orchestra Program at the prestigious Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University. He often collaborates with young artist programs, including the Ryan Opera Center, the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Young Artist Program. In addition, he has been invited to guest conduct in various university music programs, such as the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University where he recently conducted Mozart’s “Le Nozze di Figaro,” after his earlier success in conducting “Così Fan Tutte.” He was the conductor of the Illinois All-State Orchestra in 2016 and is a recipient of the Honorable Mention award at the International Competition for Conductors of Contemporary Music “4X4 Prize” and a winner of the “P. Barrasso” International Competition for Chamber Music.

Andreas Mitisek – Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson General Director
A native of Austria, Mitisek has been the General Director of COT since June of 2012. He has also been Artistic and General Director of Long Beach Opera (LBO) since 2003. Mitisek has been named “Chicagoan of the Year for Classical Music” by the Chicago Tribune in 2014 and was selected as one of the “25 people that will be a major force in the field of opera in the coming decade” by Opera News.

He recently directed and designed COT’s “gripping” (Chicago Tribune) “Macbeth” by Ernest Bloch in 2014. His other COT directing credits include ”La Voix Humaine” by Francis Poulenc, “Gianni Schicchi” by Giacomo Puccini, “Lucio Silla” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,“Therese Raquin” by Tobias Picker, “Maria de Buenos Aires” by Astor Piazzolla and “The Emperor of Atlantis & The Clever One” by Viktor Ullmann and Carl Orff. Ricky Ian Gordon’s “Orpheus and Euridice,” at the Welles Park Pool in 2013, was critically and publicly acclaimed. Mitisek is on the board of directors for Opera America, the national service organization for U.S. opera companies.

About Chicago Opera Theater
Chicago Opera Theater is an innovative, nationally recognized opera company that inspires a diverse community through immersive and thought-provoking opera experiences. COT, established in 1974 by Alan Stone, is a founding resident company of the Harris Theater for Music and Dance in Millennium Park. General Director Andreas Mitisek is known for his adventurous repertory, visionary leadership, fundraising skills and innovative audience-building initiatives.

Chicago Opera Theater has carved a significant place for itself in the operatic life of Chicago and has reached an audience of hundreds of thousands through its main stage performances, community engagement, education programs in Chicago Public Schools, as well as its renowned Young Artist Program.

Experience MORE OF THE DIFFERENT with Chicago Opera Theater!

For more information on the Chicago Opera Theater and its programs please visit www.chicagooperatheater.org.

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Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

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