Seattle Opera continues its 2012/13 season next month with 10 performances of one of the most popular operas ever composed. At turns joyful and heartbreaking, Puccini's La Bohème tells an unforgettable story of impoverished young people who are rich in friendship, love, and passion. La Bohème returns to Seattle Opera tonight, February 23, running for 10 performances through March 10.
"Seattle Opera had the honor of presenting the U.S. debut of the talented young Sardinian tenor Francesco Demuro in 2009,"says Speight Jenkins, General Director of Seattle Opera. "Demuro's career has exploded since then, and I am thrilled he is coming back to sing Rodolfo for us. He shares the role with another terrific young tenor, Michael Fabiano. With a great group of Bohemians, one of the most exciting conductors I know in Carlo Montanaro, and a great director in Tomer Zvulun, this La Bohème should be a delight for those who love the opera and a great experience for first-time operagoers."
Opening night of La Bohème stars Elizabeth Caballero as the ill-fated Mimì, who falls in love with her neighbor Rodolfo, sung by tenor Francesco Demuro. Following Caballero's 2011 performance as Liù in Lyric Opera Kansas City's Turandot, music critic Alex Ross praised the soprano, writing for The New Yorker that she "sang Liù in sensuously glowing tones, her charged legato shaping the music into cogent paragraphs. Liù's death scene tore at the heart." Caballero made her Seattle Opera debut in 2009 as Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, and Demuro made his U.S. debut with the company that same year, as Alfredo in La traviata. "To call the young Sardinian tenor a spectacular talent is to do him less than justice: this is an artist not merely spectacular but profound and potentially great," wrote The Seattle Times of Demuro. Also returning for La Bohème are Norah Amsellem as Musetta and former Seattle Opera Young Artist Michael Todd Simpson as Marcello. Both sang in Seattle Opera's 2011 Carmen, as Micaëla and Escamillo, respectively.
Sunday and Friday performances of La Bohème feature the company debuts of Jennifer Black as Mimì, Michael Fabiano as Rodolfo, and Keith Phares as Marcello. On February 24 and March 3 and 10 only, Jennifer Zetlan, who created the role of The Flier in Hagen's Amelia, alternates as Musetta. All performances feature Arthur Woodley as Colline, along with former Young Artist Andrew Garland as Schaunard and Tony Dillon as Alcindoro/BenoiT. Woodley has been a familiar face at the company this season, fresh off successful performances as Alidoro in La Cenerentolaand Rocco in Fidelio.
At the helm of this production is Stage Director Tomer Zvulun, with Conductor Carlo Montanaro leading the way in the pit. Zvulun earned rave reviews following his direction of the 2010 production of Lucia di Lammermoor, which Music-Web International hailed as "a practically unalloyed triumph." Montanaro likewise received praise for his Seattle Opera debut, conducting Massenet's Don Quichotte in 2011. The Classical Reviewcalled him "one of the finest young opera conductors to arrive in Seattle in years...[his] energy and musical sensitivity were manifest in every line of the score." Sets for this production of La Bohème are designed by Erhard Rom, with costumes by Martin Pakledinaz and lighting by Robert Wierzel.
Seattle Opera's Family Day matinee on March 10 offers families a huge discount: adults may purchase up to four $15 youth tickets for every full-priced adult ticket. For information and tickets, visit http://seattleopera.org/tickets/2012-2013/boheme/family_day.aspx.
La Bohème premieres tonight, February 23, and runs through Saturday, March 10. Tickets are available online at seattleopera.org or by calling206.389.7676 or 800.426.1619. Tickets may also be purchased at the Box Office by visiting 1020 John Street (two blocks west of Fairview), Monday to Friday between 9:00 am and 3:00 pm (Wednesday 9:30-3:00 pm). Ticket prices start at $25.