Opera Company of Philadelphia Opens the Season with A New, Art-Inspired Production of Puccini’s LA BOHÈME

An inspired new production of Puccini’s ultra-romantic blockbuster, La bohème opens the Opera Company of Philadelphia’s 2012-2013 Season on September 28, 30m, October 3, 5 & 7m, 2012 at the Academy of Music.  The timeless story of a shy seamstress and a passionate poet who chance upon each other on a snowy Parisian evening, La bohème is known for its lush melodies, sweeping orchestral work, and characters that touch the very heart of our humanity. 

This original production by Italian director/designer Davide Livermore (Cinderella, ’06) creates a classically beautiful setting at the turn of the 20th Century, and prominently features an array of the world’s most celebrated masterpieces from The Barnes Foundation and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, as well as renowned art from around the world.  The imagery will come to vivid life through large-scale, HD projections, shining a spotlight on the bohemian influences of the era with creations by artists such as Renoir, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Cassatt.

“Our director, Davide Livermore, came to us with a vision of highlighting the true artists of the time,” shared Opera Company General Director David B. Devan.  “It was an incredible moment of alignment with what is happening here as our city revels in its own vibrant, internationally-recognized collections.  We are proud to partner with The Barnes Foundation and the Philadelphia Museum of Art in making La bohème an authentic and unique experience for our city, and in being the first performance-based partner in the With Art, Philadelphia campaign.”

So what will these artistic visions look like onstage?  Here is a sneak preview of something Marcello will paint upon his canvas during Act I, courtesy of the video design team at European firm, D-Wok:

LA BOHEME Girasoli Animation from Opera Phila on Vimeo.

Recognize the piece?  Those are Van Gogh’s famed “Sunflowers,” an oil on canvas work circa 1889, which is part of the collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

With a stunning, international cast led by soprano Norah Amsellem (Otello ’10) and tenor Bryan Hymel, an AVA graduate with an international career, as Mimi and Rodolfo, Bohème also stars Philadelphia favorites including Troy Cook, Leah Partridge, Kevin Glavin, and Jeremy Milner, with baritone Craig Verm in his OCP debut.  Opera Company of Philadelphia Music Director Corrado Rovaris leads the Opera Company Orchestra and Chorus, with members of the Commonwealth Youthchoirs. 

In addition to five performances at the Academy of Music with tickets starting at just $10, the season kicks off once again with a free, public, big-screen OPERA ON THE MALL broadcast of La bohème, generously underwritten for the second year by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Members of the community are invited to join the Opera Company of Philadelphia at this free screening of Puccini under the stars on Saturday, October 6th at 7:00 p.m. at Independence National Historical Park. Registration for free tickets is required – visit to register!