Monday, August 27, 2007

Boheme for Beginners

Here at Opera Tampa we’ve been pretty giddy lately. Not just because we have been having lots of successful pre-season events and welcoming V.O.I.C.Experience to the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, but because we have a great season ahead of us. Celebrating 150 years since Puccini’s birth, we have the great honor to be producing two of the most beloved and famous operas of Puccini’s repertoire: La Boheme and Tosca.

Opera Tampa has been saying since the season was announced that La Boheme is a great experience for people who have never been to an opera before. Tim Page of the Washington Post agrees and put it so beautifully and succinctly in Sunday’s paper that I wanted to share a snippet and the entire article:
If you don't respond to the frat-boy high jinks and intimate love music in the first act, the second act presents a bright, tuneful, crowded panorama of the city of Paris on a long ago Christmas Eve. If that still doesn't do it for you, Act 3 is among the most perfectly knit 25 minutes of music and drama ever accomplished. (Stephen Sondheim has called it his favorite act in Italian opera -- and the final quartet, with its citric pairing of sweet and sour lovers, quarreling and reconciling, might have come from his pen.) And then there is Act 4, which has inspired gentle Niagaras of private tears since the opera's premiere in 1896.
Doesn’t that sound fabulous? Here’s a funny La Boheme story that he shares later in the article:
It was near the end of La Bohème that what must have been the most unintentionally funny moment in the history of opera in Washington took place. One night in 1996, the English surtitles misfired in the last few minutes of a Kennedy Center performance, and Rodolfo responded to poor, dying Mimi's entreaties never to leave her, with the computer-generated message: "Your batteries are running low and your light has been dimmed."
We’ll make sure the batteries are charged on the laptop for the supertitles in Carol Morsani Hall!

You can’t miss it! Come on, Give. Opera. A. Chance.

-Kari G

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