Intermissions are back at Lyric Opera of Chicago

In a boon for those who cherish people-watching, cocktails and schmoozing, the Lyric Opera of Chicago said Monday that it has reversed its earlier decision to cut the running time of its fall season of operas and remove formal intermissions.

The change, a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, had provoked a backlash among mostly vaccinated subscribers, many of whom were worried about their personal comfort at the opera house.

“We had to make our initial decisions within a vacuum of information,” said general director Anthony Freud in an interview, “and, at the time, this felt like a good way to help people feel ready to return to the opera house. But the new guidance from the authorities means the changes are no longer necessary.”

All of the operas now will be performed to their original length, Freud said, with the traditional breaks restored.

Lyric reopens for live performances on Sept. 17.

Chris Jones is a Tribune critic.