The Lira Ensemble consists of singers, dancers, instrumentalists, poetry readers, storytellers and narrators - all specializing in Polish and Polish-American performing arts.
The Lira Singers Quartet sing "Bóg się rodzi" (God Is Born) in the traditional Łowicz outfit of Central Poland. Lira can present up to 20 male and female singers in folk outfits of various regions of Poland - or in evening gowns - or simply black skirts/white tops - whatever is appropriate to the Polish or American music performed.
The Lira Ensemble performing Chopin's Polonaise in A Major with The Lira Singers,
Lira Dancers, and Lira Orchestra. This is one of the most favorite court dances in Polish tradition.
This is a suite of folk songs and dances from the Krakow region which is the ethnic homeland of many Polish-Americans in IL. Like all Lira appearances, it is performed in authentic folk outfits, made in Poland. This particular suite was recorded in 2017. Lira presents such suites from various regions of Poland.
These samples show large Lira performances however, the Lira Ensemble can also provide anything from one singer with accompanist to a quartet of singers with instrumental accompaniment and many other combinations. All Lira performances include an English language narration which gives summaries of the music sung and historical and culture background of the dances, songs and folk outfits, as well as insights to the American immigrant experience.
The Lira Ensemble of Chicago is the nation's only professional performing arts company
specializing in Polish and Polish-American music, song and dance. Its mission is to bring the best of Polish culture into American life. Lira has been Artist-in-Residence at Loyola University Chicago since 1995.
Founded in 1965 as the Lira Singers, the ensemble performs widely in the Chicago area, across the Midwest, occasionally around the nation, and has made six concert tours of Poland with the cooperation of the US State Department. Lira has produced thirteen major albums and recorded another for Warner that was Grammy nominated.
The vision of the Lira Ensemble is to introduce all Illinoisans to the beautiful and exciting song and dance culture of their Polish-American neighbors.
Programs for Specific Audience(s) Expertise
Nearly all Lira performers have professional teaching degrees or years of teaching experience at levels from kindergarten through college. Performances and narratives can be tailored to any age group.
Traditional Folk/Ethnic Artform Statement
The Lira Ensemble specializes in Polish music, song and dance as well as poetry with English translation. Lira is the nation's only professional performing arts company that does so.
6525 N. Sheridan Road #CH-052
Chicago, IL 60626
- A cappella
- Polish, Spanish