Lyric Opera of Chicago

Chicago, IL | May 01, 2013
Lyric Opera of Chicago

The Lyric Opera House, located at 20 North Wacker Drive, was built by Samuel Insull, a british-born businessman and utility magnate. The architecture firm Graham, Anderson, Probst & White, who also designed other Chicago landmarks including the Field Museum of Natural History, the Wrigley Building and the Merchandise Mart, designed the building. The Lyric Opera House seats 3563 people with 63 boxes and two balconies each seating 800 people. Insull set five requirements for the new opera house: safety, excellent sight lines, comfortable seating, gracious surroundings, and premium acoustics. Incidentally, Orson Welles's film Citizen Kane was inspired, in part, by the life of Samuel Insull.

But at this busy intersection in the Chicago Loop, most passersby were likely unaware of (or at least uninterested in) the Lyric Opera House. The building is located at the northwest corner of West Madison Street and North Wacker Drive which is a busy intersection for commuters travelling to or from the business center of the city on their way to Ogilvie Transportation Center or Union Station. This recording was made around 5pm to capture the sounds of activity at the end of a workday.

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Timeline

Log of acoustic events during this field recording:

0:00
Men talking, cars honking, steady hum of traffic
0:30
Long brake squeel, traffic going by
0:50
More people, more voices, briefly
1:00
Engine revs up and traffic passing by
1:30
Traffic increases, more honking
1:45
Load wrapper crinkling very nearby
2:15
Someone drops something very nearby
2:30
Voices go away
2:45
More traffic going by
3:00
A big truck accelerates
3:30
Men talking again, loud coughing
4:00
A good, loud honk followed by a brake squeel
4:30
Releasing air brakes
4:45
Woman's voice saying things
5:00
Low roar of traffic, no more voices now
6:00
Loud voice passes by quickly
6:40
Couple of loud, long honks
8:00
Women's voices, truck or bus goes by
9:30
Several cars honking
9:45
Women and men talking
10:00
Men talking to each other
10:40
Woman's laughter, men keep talking to one other
11:00
Loud footsteps
12:00
Small motorcycle or maybe a scooter goes by
12:30
A loud engine goes by
12:45
A girl says "Thanks"
13:20
A truck stops
13:45
More voices join the men talking

Lyric Opera Timeline

Timeline of sonic events during the Lyric Opera field recording.

lyric-opera-sonic-timeline

Chicago Loop Map

Selection from the AAA 1972 map of the Chicago Loop including the Lyric Opera of Chicago

lyric-opera-of-chicago-map