Virginia Opera Performs La Boheme this Weekend

Posted: May 9, 2003 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

The 2002-03 Virginia Opera season at George Mason concludes with Puccini’s La Bohème, a tale of ill-fated love set against the carefree and reckless lifestyle of 19th century bohemian Paris. Encompassing romance, drama, and unforgettable music, La Bohème has been called ‘the world’s most popular opera’ by The New York Times, and is currently experiencing a flurry of traditional and new interpretations on Broadway and national opera stages. This traditional staging is the only production of La Bohème to be produced in Virginia during 2003. Performances are tonight at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. in the Concert Hall. A preperformance discussion–free to ticket holders–is held on the Grand Tier 45 minutes prior to each curtain.

Puccini’s music moves decisively from revelry to romance as it carries the story toward its tragic conclusion. Rodolfo, the poet; Marcello, the painter; Colline, the philosopher; and Schaunard, the musician, are the original starving artists, sharing an attic apartment in Paris. When Rodolfo falls for the beautiful but ailing Mimì, their tragic love affair becomes an emotional center, deepening the loves, ambitions, and friendships of the entire group.

This Virginia Opera production brings a talented young cast and fresh inventive staging to the performance. Tenor Jonathan Boyd debuts as Rodolfo after performing recently at San Francisco Opera and the Kennedy Center. Soprano Karen Driscoll makes her debut as Mimì. Driscoll has performed the same role at Baltimore Opera and at L’Opera de Montreal under the direction of Bernard Uzan. Baritone Grant Youngblood returns as Marcello. He was lauded for his performance of Figaro in Virginia Opera’s 2002 production of The Barber of Seville.

Created by Virginia Opera’s Artistic Director Peter Mark and internationally acclaimed stage director Bernard Uzan, the production is sung in Italian with English super titles projected above the stage. Associate Conductor Dan Saunders conducts all performances.

Tickets are $78, $64, and $42. Charge by phone at (703) 218-6500 or visit

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