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Monday, February 15, 2010

La Boheme did not disappoint...

It is the third time that I have seen Puccini's opera La Boheme and for a third time the death of Mimi brought me to tears. Yes I will admit without any remorse that I do cry at the opera. As a general rule nineteenth-century Italian operas tend to end sadly and La Boheme is no exception. La Boheme was performed this past Sunday by the Nevada Opera Theater at the Artemis Ham Concert Hall.

The opera is set in Paris during the 1830's and centers around the life of four Bohemians; a poet, an artist, a musician and a philosopher all living together, poorly of course, in a garret (top floor of a house). The story centers around two lovers, the poet Rodolfo and a seamstress named Mimi. Mimi who is sadly being taken over by consumption is played by the Grammy Award nominated soprano Demetra George and Rodolfo is played by Gabriel Reoyo-Pazos.

The performance of Demetra George was an absolute joy for she could not have played a better and more frail Mimi. It was as if Giacomo himself cast Demetra for the role; it was perfect. The performances by Gabriel Reoyo-Pazos, Kelly Anderson as Marcello the artist, Eric Castro as Schaunard the musician and Morton Hyson as Colline the philosopher did not disappoint either. They played each of their roles with vigor and most importantly you could tell they were having fun on stage. When the performers have fun you know you are in for a great show. The young and talented Michael Elliot played two rolls, first as the venerable landlord Benoit, who after a few glasses of wine forgot to collect the rent from the four Bohemians and Alcindoro the wealthy patron of the eccentric Musetta. Musetta was brilliantly played by Suzanne Vinnik whose powerful voice at times could shatter a crystal glass. With Maestro Frank Fetta at the helm La Boheme shattered my expectations and made me yearn for more. I literally left Ham Hall ready to subject my emotions to another opera but I am willing to wait patiently until June 13 when the Nevada Opera Theater will be performing Puccini's Madama Butterfly.


posted by Brian Paco Alvarez, Curator and Chronicler of Culture at


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