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It comes around every year whether you celebrate or not. We even recognize the day for notable people, places, and events from the past. So, whenever yours is or whose you mark — Happy Birthday! —Lloyd Young (21 photos total)

Performer Ana Maria Martinez wipes away tears as she is presented with a birthday cake during a break of the performance of “Rusalka” at the Lyric Opera in Chicago, March 10. The plot summary of US opera in recent years has unfolded like the last act of a Verdi tragedy: New York City Opera, dead; Opera Boston, dead; San Diego Opera, on its final aria. The Chicago opera scene, however, is all up tempo.The nation’s third most populous city has not only preserved its devotion to opera, it has expanded it, despite hard times for the art form elsewhere. Opera experts credit creative programming, solid philanthropic help and a loyal, enthusiastic audience. (Jim Young/Reuters)