• Spotlight News Hampton Roads

Virginia Opera: La Bohème: Rodolfo Remembers


Words and Images Courtesy of Virginia Opera


Norfolk, Richmond, Fairfax VA (October 5, 2021)— Virginia Opera’s 2021-2022 Season continues in November with a fresh take on the classic work La Bohème: Rodolfo Remembers composed by Giacomo Puccini. Originally staged in a drive-in “movie-style” parking lot by San Diego Opera in 2020, this adaptation by Keturah Stickann and Bruce Stasyna will be performed at VO’s three mainstage venues: the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, the Carpenter Theater at the Dominion Energy Center in Richmond, and the Center for the Arts at George Mason University in Fairfax.

La Bohème continues to be one of the most popular operas of all time. It’s absolutely magical,” exclaims Peggy Kriha Dye, General Director and CEO of Virginia Opera. “While our 2021 version will be shorter – around 90 minutes – it still has the incredible arias and duets that we know and love. It will be performed without an intermission, making it perfect for new audiences to give opera a try for the first time.”

La Bohème: Rodolfo Remembers offers the timeless story through the perspective of a now-successful writer and poet Rodolfo as he recalls the memories of his youth. Audiences will join him as he reflects on the winter in Paris with his starving artist friends where he unexpectedly connects with the love of his life – Mimì.

“This production packs a full Puccini punch – it’s all there – the fabulous voices, the rich and beautifully textured orchestration, the fantastic costumes and staging” said Adam Turner, Artistic Director of Virginia Opera. “I know those opera veterans intimately acquainted with the work will enjoy this re-envisioned perspective, and for those audience members brand new to the artform, this version of Bohème provides the perfect gateway to operatic performance, capturing some of the all-time best moments in all of the repertoire.”

Keturah Stickann, who conceptualized the original production for San Diego Opera, re-joins Virginia Opera for her second production as the Stage Director. “Since March of 2020, I imagine many of us have been spending a lot of time floating around in our own memories: the memory of being in a certain restaurant, the memory of a friend’s hug, of the pre-pandemic world before masks. It was this thought that prompted me to set this production in Rodolfo’s study, approximately ten years after the opera has ended. As he sits at his desk, writing tales of his misspent youth, he is surrounded by memories of his garret, Marcello’s feverish affair with Musetta, Café Momus, and his beloved Mimì. In presenting La Bohème through this lens of remembrance, I hope that the production can give us a deeper connection to these brilliant, well-rounded characters as they struggle with the universal, timeless pains of being human."

Tickets are on sale for La Bohème: Rodolfo Remembers which can be purchased at vaopera.org or by calling 866.673.7282.

Patrons attending La Bohème: Rodolfo Remembers will be required to provide proof of vaccination or a negative COVID PCR test taken no more than 72 hours before the performance or negative Rapid Antigen test within 48 hours. Patrons will be asked to show proof of vaccination, or the negative test, with a photo ID prior to entering the theater. Masks will be required while in the theater. For more information please visit https://vaopera.org/experience/ticket-policies.

Harrison Opera House, Norfolk, Virginia

Friday, November 5, 2021, at 8:00 pm

Saturday, November 6, 2021, at 7:30 pm

Sunday, November 7, 2021, at 2:30 pm

Center for the Arts at George Mason University, Fairfax, Virginia

Saturday, November 13, 2021, at 8:00 pm

Sunday, November 14, 2021, at 2:00 pm

Carpenter Theater at the Dominion Energy Center, Richmond, Virginia

Friday, November 19, 2021, at 8:00 pm

Sunday, November 21, 2021, at 2:30 pm

La Bohème: Rodolfo Remembers Production Notes

Giacomo Puccini

Concept and Adaptation by Keturah Stickann and Bruce Stasyna for San Diego Opera

Sung in Italian with English Surtitles

Orchestra provided by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra

La Bohème: Rodolfo Remembers Cast and Creative

Conductor

Adam Turner (Brandon Eldredge, November 13 & 14)

Stage Director

Keturah Stickann

Scenic Design

Court Watson

Lighting Design

Mary Shabatura

Costume Coordinator

Court Watson

Wig and Make Up Designer

James P. McGough

CAST

Matthew Vickers

Tenor: Rodolfo

Last Virginia Opera Appearance: Cavaradossi, Tosca, 2019

Recent Highlights: Malcolm, Macbeth, Lyric Opera of Chicago; Alfredo, La traviata, Dayton Opera; Principe Dimitri, Risurrezione, Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Upcoming: Forresto, Attila, Sarasota Opera; Maurizio, Adriana Lecouvreur, Baltimore Concert Opera

Raquel González*

Soprano: Mimì

Virginia Opera Debut

Recent Highlights: Donna Anna, Don Giovanni, OPERA San Antonio; Mimì, La bohème, Lyric Opera of Kansas City; Cio-Cio San, Madama Butterfly, Central City Opera

Upcoming: University of Lynchburg Joann P. Hunt Concert Series

Luis Orozco*

Baritone: Marcello

Virginia Opera Debut

Recent Highlights: Riolobo, Florencia en el Amazonas, Konzert und Theater St. Gallen; Belcore, L'elisir d'amore, Opera Maine; Escamillo, Carmen, Florentine Opera

Upcoming: Le Premier Ministre (Cover), Cendrillon, Metropolitan Opera; Duende, Maria de Buenos Aires, Opera Lyon

Marlen Nahhas*

Soprano: Musetta

Virginia Opera Debut

Recent Highlights: Musetta, La Boheme, Opera Naples, Finger Lakes Opera; Countess Almaviva (cover), le nozze di Figaro, Santa Fe Opera; Violetta, La Traviata, Washington National Opera

Upcoming: Cristina Kahlo, Frida, Michigan Opera Theatre

Eric J. McConnell^

Bass-baritone: Colline

Last Virginia Opera Appearance: Donner, Das Rheingold, 2021

Recent Highlights: Bartolo, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Opera Steamboat; Ceprano, Rigoletto, Central City Opera; Sam, Trouble in Tahiti, Virginia Opera

Upcoming: Bartolo, Le nozze di Figaro, Virginia Opera

Nicholas Martorano^*

Baritone: Schaunard

Last Virginia Opera Appearance: Trio/Boy 2, Trouble in Tahiti, 2021

Recent Highlights: Kinesias, Lysistrata, Pittsburgh Festival Opera, Hortensius, La Fille Du Régiment, Opera Saratoga, Marullo, Rigoletto, Berkshire Opera Festival

*denotes VA Opera Debut ^Denotes 21-22 Herndon Foundation Emerging Artist

ABOUT VIRGINIA OPERA

Virginia Opera, the official opera company of the Commonwealth of Virginia, is one of the finest regional opera companies in the nation and is the only company to perform regularly in three separate main stage venues: the Harrison Opera House in Norfolk, the Carpenter Theatre at the Dominion Energy Center in Richmond, and Center for the Arts at George Mason University in Fairfax. Organized in 1974, Virginia Opera is respected nationwide for the identification and presentation of the finest young artists, for the musical and dramatic integrity of its productions, and for the ingenuity and variety of its education and outreach programs.

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