Cover story: Opera Queens­land brings us La Bo­heme................

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - PLAY CONTENTS -

OPERA Queens­land will bring its stag­ing of the most ro­man­tic opera of all time – Puc­cini’s La Bo­heme – to life on the Gold Coast next year.

The pro­duc­tion, which will ap­peal to devo­tees and new­com­ers alike, is one of the high­lights of The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast’s 2014 pack­age sea­son, launched this week.

To be helmed by award­win­ning direc­tor Craig Ilott, La Bo­heme will give lo­cal vo­cal­ists the chance to join the pro­duc­tion’s cho­rus and per­form along­side some of Opera Queens­land’s bright­est stars.

The pro­duc­tion will see Richard Gill will con­duct an en­sem­ble of 13 mu­si­cians from the Queens­land Sym­phony Orches­tra in his own cham­ber or­ches­tra­tion of La Bo­heme.

The opera’s sto­ry­line fol­lows Mimi, whose love af­fair with the poet Rodolfo be­gins on a snowy Christ­mas Eve in Paris on the cusp of 1914 – a year that changes the world for­ever.

Award-win­ning theatre direc­tor Craig Ilott ( Smoke & Mir­rors) and de­signer Penny Challen have cho­sen that last op­ti­mistic win­ter ex­actly 100 years ago as an elec­tric mo­ment against which to set Puc­cini’s beloved story of bo­hemian life.

Billed as in­ti­mate and re­veal­ing, the new pro­duc­tion will star some of Queens­land’s most ex­cit­ing young singers, in­clud­ing to­day’s Play cover girl, so­prano Emily Burke, as a group of rent-dodg­ing flat­mates liv­ing and lov­ing pre­car­i­ously on the edge of society.

‘‘These Bo­hemi­ans are an­ar­chic and full of life,’’ Ilott says.

‘‘Their courage, hope and pas­sion are in­fec­tious. They are scoundrels of course, with­out a care for to­mor­row – cer­tainly not when there is wine to be had, a kiss to be stolen and emo­tions to ex­press. We love them for it – and we rem­i­nisce.’’

The Arts Cen­tre will col­lab­o­rate with Opera Queens­land for La Bo­heme as part of its com­mit­ment to boost its pro­duc­tion port­fo­lio.

‘‘In ad­di­tion to our three hands-on projects, there’ll be a slight col­lab­o­ra­tion for La Bo­heme,’’ Arts Cen­tre per­form­ing arts man­ager Brad Rush says.

‘‘We’ll be cast­ing a lo­cal cho­rus of vol­un­teers to work along­side Opera Queens­land per­form­ers. It’s part of our com­mit­ment to a be not just a pre­sen­ter, but a pro­ducer of dif­fer­ent scales on many lay­ers.’’

Opera Queens­land’s La Bo­heme plays The Arts Cen­tre Gold Coast on Au­gust 9. View the 2014 pro­gram and ticket pack­age op­tions at thearts­cen­tregc.com.au

So­prano Emily Burke will play love in­ter­est Musetta in Opera Queens­land’s La Bo­heme.

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