Brava/Bravo/Bravii/ to everyone who created Mobile Opera’s memorable production of Giacomo Puccini’s “La Boheme.”
Because I have had the privilege of seeing operas in Vienna, Prague, Berlin, St. Petersburg, Sydney, Chicago, Kazakhstan, New York, Atlanta, New Orleans, Central City, Denver, Seattle, Boston, Pittsburgh, including the Zeperelli production of La Boheme, I can attest that our 73-year-old Mobile Opera offers an excellent product on our stage.
Because Puccini believed first in telling a good story, the acting is as important as the singing. With Scott Skilea’s sensitive direction the audience felt the full impact of the emotions of these young artists from their merry hijinx to distract themselves from hunger, cold and lonliness to their selfless giving of precious possessions to buy medicine for their dying friend.
The beauty of each voice conveyed the variety of emotions from Mimi’s plaintiff request to relight her candle to Benoit and Alcindoro’s perfectly played moments of comic relief to Musetta’s flouncing flirty performance to Rodolfo’s crushing cry, “Mimi!”
The music was conducted with great sensitivity by Maestro Bernard McDonald. The Mobile Symphony added great depth to the emotions.
The ingenious set design was drafted by Scott Wright and Rebecca Lake and realized by the talents of Albert Lapuhovsky. The chorus under the masterful direction of Dr. Laura Moore sang, moved, and acted with animation and precision.
Susan Hoitl directed the Mobile Singing Children who sang and performed professionally. The Mobile Opera Costume Guild designed and fashioned the period costumes.
If you missed the production I am truly sorry because this was music and theatre at its best.
Don’t like opera? Try it … you will be surprised. Get a book and read the story before you go and then the music will transport you.
Bravii Mobile Opera!