The magic of Puccini’s La Bohème
By Michael Pearl
Pro Musica presents three performances of Puccini’s opera masterpiece La Bohème at the Teatro Angela Peralta Wednesday and Friday, February 6 and 8 at 7pm and Sunday, February 10 at 5pm. This follows our sold-out production of the same composer’s Tosca a year ago, which created a popular sensation in San Miguel, with its fabulous singing and creative staging. La Bohème will be sung in Italian with English and Spanish subtitles, which will be fully visible from every seat in the theater, produced by the team that provides them for operas at the Bellas Artes in Mexico City. Tickets are now on sale at the theater, our usual ticket sales outlets and our website.
Pro Musica presents 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 creative team which 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 a recital, 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 Ruíz to sing Colline. The entire cast is the cream of the Mexican opera establishment.
Puccini’s operas thrive on the reality that, at some point in their lives, people everywhere—from Rome, to Paris, to Japan, to San Miguel de Allende—all endure the same trials. They struggle with love, envy, betrayal, loss and heartbreak. These universal themes will be portrayed in a fresh, innovative interpretation of this timeless story of unrequited love between starving bohemians in Paris’ 19th century Latin Quarter, cleverly interpreted by master storyteller Roberto Duarte. Roberto says that his staging is about, “…unraveling the absurd life of men to the audience, which represents humanity, and shouting loudly ‘this is how love is made!’”
When the curtains open on Lane Van Doren’s stunning sets, I guarantee the audience will gasp, as they did last year when his amazing fans for Tosca revealed themselves. Lane, a renowned artist with his gallery in Fábrica La Aurora, has his monumental sculptures gracing the offices of world-class corporations and multi-million dollar private homes. No less will they fill the stage of the Teatro Ángela Peralta with a dazzling array of striking images reflecting the uncertainties of human fate, heightened by lighting director Jaime Razzo’s kaleidoscopic visual effects, illuminating not only the external action, but also the human soul in all its diversity. The many custom-made costumes and hats, with their unique color for each character, will rivet your attention and clearly identify and delineate each role.
The opera is full of wonderful arias, the most beautiful being Mimi’s famous “Yes, they call me Mimi” (Sì, mi chiamano Mimì), when she introduces herself to Rodolfo in Act I. His response is the exquisite “What a cold little hand” (Che gelida manina) as he tells her his life story. Later, in the happy carousing at the Café Momo, we hear “Musetta’s Waltz “ (Quando m’en vo), one of the most recognizable opera arias and a very popular party tune at that! Even non-opera goers will find that the opera is full of songs they will have heard, making La Bohème a great opera to attend if you are a newcomer to this most exciting of art forms.
At Teatro Ángela Peralta, both balconies are now fitted with comfortable new upholstered seats. So no more sitting on hard benches with no backs, even along the sides! The center section of the first balcony in particular offers some of the best views and acoustics in the theater. With many tickets still at last year’s prices, from only 100 pesos, now is the time to buy your tickets, as they are selling fast.
The stars of the opera are also singing at a Gala Fundraiser on Saturday, February 9 at 5pm, benefitting Pro Musica’s education outreach program, Rhyme, Rhythm & Reason, teaching the basics of music to underprivileged children in schools in the campo. Tickets include a champagne reception, a three-course dinner, entertainment and a brief performance by the children.
To upgrade the quality of your experience of San Miguel’s opera week we are offering a limited number of VIP Packages, which include personalized reserved seats for the performance of your choice, champagne in one of the intervals, a ticket to the Gala Fundraiser and an invitation to the exclusive last night cast party after Sunday’s performance. The packages are priced from 2,400 pesos per person, little more than the face value of the opera and Gala Fundraiser tickets.
Tickets for all performances of La Bohème, the Gala Fundraiser and VIP packages may be purchased on our website, www.promusica.com, by credit card via PayPal, as well as at our ticket sales outlets: La Tienda in the Biblioteca, Insurgentes 25; Solutions, Mesones 57; St. Paul’s Church, calle Cardo, Monday to Friday, 10am-4pm; and at the theater box office. For full details of the Gala and the VIP Packages, visit our website or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Michael Pearl is president of Pro Musica.