Puccini’s La Bohème at Teatro Ángela Peralta

By Michael Pearl

Pro Musica’s acclaimed production of Tosca last February at Teatro Ángela Peralta proved that there is a huge demand for quality, full-scale opera in San Miguel de Allende from a wide range of people living in the municipality and elsewhere in the country, both Mexicans and extranjeros. Because of this overwhelming vote of confidence, in February, 2013, Pro Musica will stage another Puccini masterpiece, La Bohème. Tickets are now on sale at the theater and all our usual sales outlets.

Pro Musica presents Puccini’s La Bohème
Wed, Feb 6, 7pm
Fri, Feb 8, 7pm
Sun, Feb 10; 5pm
Teatro Ángela Peralta

Our production of La Bohème will reunite much of the same creative team who made Tosca so successful, including Stage Director Roberto Duarte and Music Director Mario Alberto Hernández. Rodrigo Garciarroyo will star as the poet, Rodolfo, and Mimi will be sung by Verónica Alexanderson, who brought the house down when she and Rodrigo sang the death scene from Carmen for us last season at St. Paul’s, and who triumphed again with our Best of Broadway Show last October. Our wonderful Scarpia in Tosca, Enrique Angeles, will return as the painter Marcello, and we have been fortunate to obtain the fabulous Guillermo Ruiz to sing Colline.

To fulfill the huge unsatisfied demand for tickets we experienced for the two evenings of Tosca, we are adding a third performance for La Bohème, on Wednesday and Friday, February 6 and 8, at 7pm, and Sunday, February 10, at 5pm. There will be much improved English and Spanish subtitles, courtesy of the professional team that provides them for operas at Bellas Artes in Mexico City. I have personally tested the view of the new subtitles from all locations in the theater, and the text in both languages, one above the other, on a special screen, is visible from every seat, including the box seats.

La Bohème will be even more of a San Miguel production than last season. Once again, all the sets and props are being made here, and all of the costumes as well, whereas for Tosca some were sourced in Mexico City. The costumes—with some spectacular hats!—have been completed, and internationally renowned artist Lane Van Doren, whose work graces major museums and corporate headquarters, is hard at work recreating the Paris skyline!

A major refurbishment at Teatro Ángela Peralta has been made in both balconies, which now boast modern, upholstered theater seats. So no more sitting on those hard benches with no backs, even along the sides! The seats are all comfortable, and the central section of the first balcony in particular offers some of the best views and acoustics in the theater. With all tickets in the second balcony still at last year’s price of only 100 pesos, snap up these bargain seats without delay!

Another Pro Musica innovation is that people living outside of San Miguel will be able to purchase and pay for opera tickets (and tickets for all our concerts) on the Pro Musica website www.promusicasma.com, via PayPal, collecting them at the Will Call desk before the performance.

We know there are many opera fans who want to upgrade the quality of their experience of La Bohème. With this in mind we are offering a limited number of VIP Packages, which include personalized, reserved seats for the performance of your choice, champagne during the interval, a US$100 ticket to our first ever Gala Fundraiser on Saturday, February 9, with the stars of the opera, and an invitation to the exclusive, last night cast party after the performance on Sunday. The packages are priced from 2,400 pesos per person, little more than the face value of the tickets.

The Gala Fundraiser will be a highlight of the San Miguel social season. Organized by party- giver supreme Gail Lowenstein, the star-studded event will be in the upper sala at the Posada La Aldea on Saturday, February 9, at 5pm. Gail and her team will transform the space into a magical, elegant winter wonderland, and the event will feature performances by the stars of La Bohème, singing a wide variety of (non La Bohéme!) songs, ranging from Neapolitan arias, through zarzuela and operetta, to numbers from popular musicals. The evening begins with a champagne reception in the lovely atrium, with stunning views of La Parroquia, followed by a sumptuous, three-course, sit-down dinner with wine, culminating in a performance by the stars. You will also hear some of the children of Los Ricos School, from our landmark Rhythm, Rhyme & Reason program, give a short demonstration of their musical skills. At our Day of the Dead Altar celebration last month, an audience of 300 was captivated by the enthusiasm and confidence of our 8-12-year-old musicians.

All proceeds of the Gala go to Rhythm, Rhyme & Reason, which currently provides two classes a week for 44 weeks of the year to children in two underprivileged primary schools in the campo. We hope to raise enough money at the Gala to start the program at a third school near Atotonilco in March, 2013.

Tickets for all performances of La Bohème may be purchased at Teatro Ángela Peralta or at any of our ticket sales outlets: La Tienda in La Biblioteca, Insurgentes 25; Solutions, Mesones 57; or St. Paul’s Church, calle Cardo 6, Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm. For full details of the Gala and the VIP Packages, see our advertisement in this week’s Atención, email us at promusicasma@aol.com, or visit our website: www.promusicasma.com.


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