LPM Staff

Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème

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Uruguayan-American tenor Gaston Rivero and Cuban-American soprano Elaine Alvarez will make their Arizona Opera debut on January 30, 2010, under the baton of maestro Joel Revzen. Rivero will give life to the grief-stricken poet Rodolfo, and Alvarez to the fragile seamstress Mimì.

The Chicago Tribune reports, “As the consumptive seamstress Mimì, Alvarez … revealed an appealingly natural stage presence and a big, vibrant lyric soprano the color of deep burgundy. The voice bloomed under pressure the way you want a Puccini voice to bloom, yet kept its warm tonal finish when she floated the high pianissimos opera lovers wait for in rapt anticipation.”

Who can pass up a description like that?

A timeless tale of young love:

In 1830s Paris Latin Quarter, a group of bohemians struggle to make ends meet. A colorful cast of characters share their struggles to survive the cold winter: The painter, Marcello (baritone); Rodolfo the poet (tenor), who in an attempt to keep warm, feeds the fire with his literary creations; the musician Schaunard (baritone), and Colline the philosopher (bass), who quips about not being able to pawn his books.

Rodolfo falls madly in love with Mimì (soprano), a neighbor seamstress who is not in good health. Marcello’s old flame, the foxy singer Musetta (soprano), reappears in his life with a rich beau, yet wants Marcello back. They reunite but fight constantly.

Fast forward. Mimì’s health is deteriorating; Rodolfo leaves her. While he tells his friends he’s grown tired of her flirtatiousness, he later admits abandoning Mimì to give her an opportunity to find someone able to better provide for her, and overcome the poverty in which they live.

The next winter a gravely ill Mimì returns looking for Rodolfo, her true love. Musetta and friends sell whatever few possessions they have to buy medicines and keep Mimì warm, but it’s too late. Mimì dies and a devastated Rodolfo mourns his loss.

Phoenix Symphony Hall
75th N. Second Street, Phoenix
January 29-30, 2010, 7:30 p.m.
January 31, 2010, 2 p.m.

Tucson Music Hall
February 6, 2010, 7:30 p.m.
February 7, 2010, 2 p.m.
Tickets: 602-266-7464 or 520-293-4336
www.ticketmaster.com or www.azopera.com
Sung in Italian with English supertitles above the stage.

Why YOU should go:
• To support artistic excellence and local arts organizations
• It’s affordable – tickets start at $19.50
• To celebrate the Arizona Opera debut of Alvarez and Rivero
• It’s easy to get there. Park and ride the light rail – no need to pay for parking
• And no … you don’t have to wear a tux or gown. Casual attire is OK, but the opera is a good excuse to glam up.

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