Award-winning opera producer Ellen Kent brings one of the most romantic operas ever written La Bohème to the Palace Theatre on Tuesday 21st January in her new tour, traditionally staged featuring beautiful sets and costumes. Set in the backstreets and attics of Bohemian Paris, this powerful and emotional opera tells the heart-breaking tale of the doomed, consumptive Mimi and her love for a penniless writer, Rodolfo. Puccini’s masterpiece, La Bohème, is based on Henri Murger’s novel Scenes de la vie de boheme.
The sumptuous set is inspired by the art of the Bohemian period, particularly Chagall and Renoir. The set reflects the Bohemian art of the period and the authentic costumes will transport you immediately to Bohemian Paris. The production includes a brass band, snow effects and Musetta’s adorable dog will also make an entrance.
The powerful and emotional La Bohème is the tragic tale of doomed romance between consumptive seamstress Mimi and penniless writer Rodolfo. After falling instantly in love, Rodolfo later leaves Mimi due to her flirtatious behaviour, though he is wracked with guilts since their life together has surely worsened Mimi’s delicate constitution. In true tragic opera fashion the pair reunite briefly at the end before Mimi dies. This classic story of Parisian love and loss features many famous arias including ‘Your Tiny Hand is Frozen’, ‘They Call Me Mimi’ and ‘Musetta’s Waltz’.
Ellen said “The scene where Mimi and Rodolfo meet and she sings They call me Mimi always makes me cry. It’s such a beautiful piece of music. I try to do opera that the audience can emotionally connect with, not just on a musical level but with the personal drama happening on stage”.
Ellen’s production of the extreme poverty in the backstreets and attics of Paris was inspired by reading George Orwell’s book Down and out in Paris.
Elena Dee will share the role of Mimi with celebrated international soprano Alyona Kistenyova and Marina Tonina is taking the role of Musetta. The production also boasts a full orchestra and chorus. Elena Dee, an international Korean soprano, returns to delight us with her poignant and emotional rendition of Mimi in La Bohème. She was spotted by Ellen Kent when she was working under the musical direction of the great Moldovan baritone, Vladimir Dragos. She was a talented classical pianist but was hoping to become a soprano. Ellen auditioned her and suggested she came back when she had acquired more experience vocally. Ellen auditioned Elena again some years later and the rest is history. She went on to sing Aida, Tosca, Mimi and Madama Butterfly in Ellen’s productions. Her portrayals of these roles were stunning both musically and dramatically.
Alyona Kistenyova, the international soprano from Odessa National Opera will be returning after her critically acclaimed performances in Aida, La Boheme, Carmen, Tosca and Die Fledermaus, Rigoletto, La Traviata and Madama Butterfly. Alyona will be singing Mimi in La Bohème alternating with Elena Dee.
Maria Tonina is one of the best sopranos to tour in Britain for Ellen Kent. Her operatic talent won her a scholarship to the Vienna State Opera House where she worked with Ileana Cotrubas and KS Olivera Miljakovic. In contrast to our dark, sultry sopranos Elena Dee and Alyona Kistenyova, Maria shines as a blonde belle on stage. She has sung in Rigoletto, Die Fledermaus and Madama Butterfly, La Traviata, La Bohème for Ellen Kent and stars as Musetta (La Bohème) on this spring tour.
The Ukrainian tenor Vitalii Liskovetskyi from the Kiev National Opera originally trained as a military pilot and made his debut on an Ellen Kent tour in 2015 in Carmen and Tosca, followed by subsequent successes in Aida, La Bohème and Nabucco, Rigoletto, La Traviata and Madama Butterfly. He will be reprising his role as Rodolfo in La Bohème.
Giorgio Meladze, the International Spanish tenor, who has sung in all the major opera houses in Europe including with José Carreras in 2014, returns after his critically acclaimed performances in Aida, La Bohème and Nabucco and will be singing the parts of Pinkerton in Madama Butterfly and Rodolfo in La Bohème.
Iurie Gisca, the great Moldovan baritone, who has sung major roles such as Amanasro in Aida, Rigoletto in Rigoletto, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly, Germont in La Traviata and Nubucco in Nubucco. He will be singing Marcello in La Bohème.
La Bohème will be conducted by Vasyl Vasylenko, who is the artistic director and conductor at the National President’s Orchestra of Ukraine, Kiev, together with the guest conductor and artistic director of the National Opera of Moldova, Nicolae Dohotaru, together with 30 members of the National Ukrainian Orchestra, Kiev and the National Moldovan Opera.
This production will be sung in Italian with English surtitles. *Cast Subject to Change.
Tuesday 21 January 2020, 7.30pm
Palace Theatre, Manchester