Since it was first performed in Italy at the Teatro Regio, Turin, in 1896, the four-act tragedy has held its place on the world’s opera stages as one of the most frequently performed works in the repertoire.
As renowned for its wealth of passionate melodies and masterful orchestration as it is for the touchingly drawn characters that are brought to life onstage, the opera tells of four young Bohemians who share a Paris attic.
They are the poet, Rodolfo (tenor); the painter Marcello (baritone); the musician Schaunard (baritone); and the philosopher, Colline (bass). Rodolfo meets their neighbour Mimi (soprano), and they fall in love; at the same time, Marcello recovers his old lover Musetta (soprano) from a wealthy admirer.
But the relationship of both couples develops stormily, and the Bohemians resume their studio life. Mimi, dying of consumption, is brought in by Musetta; they try to save her but it is too late. The curtain comes down as a shattered Rodolfo holds Mimi in his arms.
Directed by Desando, the cast features Khayakazi Madlala as Mimi, Phenye Modiane as Rodolfo, Sipokazi Maphumulo as Musetta, Solly Motaung as Marcello, Chuma Sijeqa as Shaunard, and Andile Dlamini as Colline and the Clermont Community Choir. Conductor Lykele Temmingh will be at the helm of the KwaZulu-Natal Philharmonic in the Playhouse Opera’s orchestra pit.
La Bohème stages on August 10 at 7.30pm and August 12 at 3pm. Tickets from R100 - R150 at Computicket. Call 0861 915 8000 or book online at www.computicket.com. Alternatively, call the Playhouse Box Office on 031 369 9540 or 369 9596 (office hours).
Meanwhile, enthusiasts in Pietermaritzburg can enjoy a programme this evening entitled The Songs You Love.
Presented by pianist Christopher Duigan’s Music Revival initiative, the programme features baritone Federico Freschi with Duigan at the keyboard.
The event will be held as a dinner function at 35 Montgomery Drive. Booking is essential: [email protected] or sms 083 417 4473. Tickets are R200 including a light meal on offer from 6.30pm.
For those who wish to attend the concert only the ticket is R120 (including refreshments) with music starting at approximately 7.45pm.
Include your contact numbers in all email and telephone booking. The event will be reprised on Sunday at 11.30am at the Tatum Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg, where tickets are R80.
To book, email [email protected]