IU Opera Theater presents encore performances of 'La Bohème'
The grandeur of 19th-century Paris will be on display when Indiana University Opera Theater raises the curtain on its production of Giacomo Puccini's La Bohème at Bloomington's Musical Arts Center at 8 p.m. Nov. 18-19.
The IU Opera production of one of the most popular operas of all time was first unveiled in 2007.
Designed by Jacobs School of Music master designer C. David Higgins, the sets include chimneys that smoke, windows individually lit in each of the many buildings and walls adorned with posters drawn from actual advertisements displayed during the era. In Act II, which takes place at the Café Momus and the surrounding square, nearly 90 people will be on stage in Higgins' original costumes, evoking the setting in a manner not previously seen in opera.
"It is a sight to behold," Higgins said. "You will not see a Bohème like this anywhere else. It well represents the tradition of the IU Jacobs School of Music and its productions."
"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to re-create director Tito Capobianco's 2007 production of La Bohème that brings the world of bohemians in 19th-century Paris to life with such vibrancy," assistant stage director Jeffrey Buchman said. "The sets by David offer both intimacy and spectacle beyond what one normally gets to experience at La Bohème, and for anyone who missed the production the first time around, they should absolutely come to see it.
Buchman continued, "For those who did see the show back in 2007, I would urge them to return to experience this beautiful story of love, passion and loss as told through an entirely different cast of artists and a new stage director. We hope to make it as exciting, fresh and deeply moving as it was the first time around."
Professor David Effron, chair of the Jacobs School Orchestral Conducting Department, will conduct the story about a group of young Parisians who, despite their financial distress, seek artistic expression, laughter and love. Mimi is a seamstress living in the same building as Marcello, a painter, and Rodolfo, a poet. On Christmas Eve, Mimi's candle goes out, and she seeks a light from Rodolfo. Thus begins this tender love story.
"Emotional acting with some of the most beautiful and moving music ever written come together in this stunning production of Puccini's popular opera, a love story which will touch the avid operagoer as well as those who have never experienced this masterwork," Effron said.
"La Bohème is one of the greatest works of art that mankind has produced," said baritone Marcelo Silva, a student of Andreas Poulimenos who sings the role of Marcello. "For me, it has the most gorgeous music there is, and I doubt that anybody can come to it and stay indifferent. It's just an incredible experience."
Visit the production website, with synopsis, program notes, photos and more, at music.indiana.edu/operaballet/boheme.
If you go
Purchase tickets at the Musical Arts Center box office from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, by phone at 812-855-7433 or online at music.indiana.edu/opera. A discounted price is available through the MAC box office for all students.