The Converse College Opera Theatre and the Music Foundation of Spartanburg will collaborate to bring one of the world’s most beloved operas to the Upstate.
An English version Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème will be performed in Converse’s Twichell Auditorium Jan. 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Jan. 30 at 2:30 p.m. Preceding each performance (Jan. 28 at 6:45 and Jan. 30 at 1:45), Dr. David Berry, Associate Professor of Music Theory at Converse, will give a Curtain Talk and entertain questions about this great work.
General public ticket prices are $25 for adults, $22.50 for seniors, and $15 for students. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the Twichell box office at (864) 596-9725.
First performed in 1896 in Turin, Italy, La Bohème has since been performed throughout the world for decades. “La Bohème is the perfect opera,” said Converse director of opera and associate professor of voice Dr. Ronald Boudreaux, who will be directing the La Bohème performance. “There is neither an extra word nor an errant note. The simple story of normal people struggling with everyday issues accompanied by absolutely gorgeous melodies touches audiences in a universal way.”
A massive set constructed by Charlotte, N.C.-based Opera Carolina will provide the atmosphere for an 1830 Christmas Eve in Paris. “Our production will definitely be one of the largest productions ever performed in Twichell as the set will cover virtually every inch of the 60-feet-wide stage,” said Dr. Boudreaux.
The story of La Bohème reflects the bohemian life. Marcello, Rodolfo, Colline and Schaunard – respectively a painter, a poet, a philosopher and a musician – live together in an artists’ loft. Mimì, a seamstress who lives upstairs, and Rodolfo fall in love; Marcello and Musetta are former lovers who have had a falling out but who are reunited thanks to Musetta’s assistance. The crunching poverty to which they are all condemned eventually leads to the death of Mimì, with Rodolfo repeating her name in anguish at the end.
The 80-member cast for La Bohème includes veteran opera performer and Spartanburg resident Paul MacPhail (Marcello); Metropolitan Opera Auditions winner and Converse graduate student James Broussard (Rodolfo); Milwaukee, Wis. native, recent Metropolitan Opera winner, and stage veteran Jason S. McKinney (Colline); and John Carroll (Schaunard), a music educator for Spartanburg County District Four who has appeared regularly with the Spartanburg Repertory Company and converse Opera Theatre.
Converse senior and Sri Lanka native Tharanga Goonetilleke will assume the role of Mimi. In an effort to send much-needed financial assistance to her tsunami-ravaged homeland, audience members will have the opportunity to make contributions in the Twichell lobby.
For more information, call (864) 596-9021.