Let’s go to the opera

Even 100 years after being written, opera La Boheme feels fresh and honest.

Reviewed by Melissa Gardi

It’s a story that many of us can all relate to – to a degree. One of love, of broken hearts; desire and despair; innocence and tragedy.

Even 100 years after being written, composer Giacomo Puccini’s epic opera feels fresh and honest as though revealed by a close inner-circle friend. Every intimate detail of this NZ Opera production is well considered by director Jacqueline Coats from casting to highly stylized set design through to costumes and lighting which brings to life a group of Parisian bohemians in full colour.

Puccini’s greatness is undeniable at every turn and the brilliant young New Zealand singers stand tall, almost as if they’ve been bewitched into living their characters. Together with Tobias Ringborg who conducts the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra,the award-winning trio – Elizabeth Whiting (costumers), Rachael Waker (set) and Jennifer Lal (Lighting) prove that they’re a melodicly creative team throughout the 2-hour masterpiece.

In harmony with their beautiful singing counterparts – New Zealanders Thomas Atkins, Marlena Devoe and Amelia Berry –they pull at every heart string and leave the night invigorated by their ode to love and beauty. Bring your scarves as the chill of winter heartache shiver from the seasonal setting right through to the bone.

La Boheme delivers a powerful performance. Photography David Rowland/One Image

La bohème
ASB Theatre, Aotea Centre, Auckland – 13-23 September, 2018
Opera House, Wellington – 4-13 October, 2018
More information: nzopera.com
Tickets from $50 at ticketmaster.co.nz

In Italian with English surtitles

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