ROCHESTER, NY Eastman Opera Theatre’s exceptional 2001-2002 season comes to a close this spring with one of the world’s best loved operas, Puccini’s La Bohème. Performances will be at 8 p.m., Thursday, April 4 – Saturday, April 6, and at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 7, in the Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.).
La Bohème follows the exploits of a community of artists in Bohemian Paris in the 1830s: Colline, the philosopher; Marcello, the painter; Schaunard, the musician; and Rodolfo, the poet. From the opening scene where Marcello and Rodolfo humorously burn the pages of a drama in order to stay warm, to Mimi’s tragic death in the Latin Quarter garret, the opera sparkles with drama and excitement, enhanced by a masterfully elegant orchestration. “Musical devices emphasize the libretto, which consists of common language turned poetic,” said director Steven Daigle, associate professor of opera at Eastman.
Receiving its world premiere on February 1, 1896, at the Teatro Regio of Turin (Italy), La Bohème garnered instant critical and public acclaim. Since then it has become Puccini’s most popular work and the most produced title in the operatic repertory. The Eastman production, sung in Italian and set in the 1890s, features two alternating casts of Eastman voice students, accompanied by the Eastman Philharmonia, the School’s premier student orchestra. Benton Hess, distinguished professor of voice and music director of Eastman Opera Theatre, conducts. The cast includes Choong-Hung Lee and Choel Min Jin as Rodolfo; Elizabeth Brooks and Erin Grzybowski as Musetta; Lucas Meachem and Munenori Sugitani as Marcello; Ryan Lathan and Dong-Hoon Park as Schaunard; Janinah Burnett and Melissa Kelly as Mimi; and John Hudson and Adam Martin as Colline.
Tickets for La Bohème are $8-$20, with discounts for University of Rochester faculty, students, and staff. They are available at Ticket Express, 100 East Avenue, or by calling 222-5000. Tickets also may be purchased at the box office one hour prior to the start of each performance.
On Thursday, April 4, the Friends of Eastman Opera will sponsor an opening night dinner at Gatherings at the Inn on Broadway (26 Broadway, Rochester) at 6 p.m. Reservations are required. Tickets (including dinner and preferred seating for the opera) may be obtained by contacting Suzanne Gouvernet at 271-5368.
Note to editors: Interviews with Steven Daigle and Benton Hess are available.