Funded by the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund, Opera Africa Company will stage Puccini’s most popular opera – a bittersweet story of young love and heartbreak, at the SA State Theatre and Joburg Theatre in the March – April 2010 season.
Puccini’s timeless hit, based on Murger’s popular series Scenes from Bohemia, paints a nostalgic picture of the carefree and reckless lifestyle of 19th Century bohemian Paris, encompassing romance, drama, and stunning music.
His lush and descriptive music moves 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 live a life of cheerful bravado in the face of poverty and despair in an attic in the Latin Quarters of 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.
The production features the finest South African talent on stage with the Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra. Acclaimed soprano, Hanli Stapela appears as Mimi; Tenor Stéfan Louw, that was seen in Opera Africa’s 2009 Aida as Radames sings Rudolfo; baritone Aubrey Lodewyk, now residing in Cape Town returns as Marcello. The cast includes acclaimed basses, Rouel Beukes in the double role Benoit/Alcindoro, Otto Maidi as Colline, and young stars Kelebogile Boikanyo as Musetta and Thabang Senekal as Schaunard.
Conductor Timothy Myers, artistic director of North Carolina Opera makes his SA debut with Opera Africa’s La Bohème. A protégé of Lorin Maazel, Timothy Myers is also known for his assistant/associate engagements with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, New York City Opera, and London BBC Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Myers has recently made his debut with the Jerusalem, American and Palm Beach symphony orchestras.
Award-winning theatre director Themi Venturas and renowned painter Andrew Verster who have been directing and designing several Opera Africa touring productions to local and international acclaim, will be the team responsible for the concept and realization of La Bohème.
Performance Dates and Venues:
The SA State Theatre:
Saturday, 20th of March, 2010 at 20h00
Tuesday, 23rd of March, 2010 at 20h00
Thursday, 25th of March, 2010 at 20h00
Saturday, 27th of March, 2010 at 20h00
The Joburg Theatre:
Sunday, 11th of April, 2010 at 15h00
Wednesday, 14th of April, 2010 at 20h00
Friday, 16th of April, 2010 at 20h00
Sunday, 18th of April, 2010 at 15h00
Wednesday, 21st of April, 2010 at 20h00
Friday, 23rd of April, 2010 at 20h00
Sunday, 25th of April, 2010 at 15h00
For further information please follow the links alongside