National Opera transported to Bohemian Paris

Giacomo Puccini’s beloved opera «La Boheme» returns to the National Opera this Sunday, with a production directed by Lina Wurtmuller and set designs by Enrico Job. First staged in 1896, «La Boheme» takes place in Paris’s romantic Latin Quarter; as the love affair between Mimi and poet Rodolfo unfolds, the lovers come together and are subsequently torn apart by jealousy, poverty and illness. Removed from the large-scale operas of Verdi or Wagner, Puccini’s everyday attitude toward a woman in love or the difficulties of a relationship offered a fresh, lyrical take at the end of 19th century, and earned the composer a great public following and also on the part of singers, such as the legendary Italian tenor Enrico Caruso. However, it also caused Puccini to lose a friend, fellow composer Ruggero Leoncavallo, who was working on the same storyline at the same time; neither man was willing to give up his work. At the National Opera, the National Opera Orchestra will be directed by Choo Hoey and Constantinos Karydis, and choir direction is by Fani Palamidi. The role of Mimi will be interpreted by Ioulia Troussa, Maroussa Xini and Marina Voulogianni; the role of Rodolfo will be played by Caesar Gutierrez and Antonino Interisano; Marcello will be interpreted by Kyros Patsalidis and Dimitris Tiliakos, while the vivacious Musetta will be performed by JennyDrivala and Julia Souglakou. Haris Andrianos and Costis Konstandaras will take on the role of Schaunard, while Dimitris Kasioumis and Pandelis Psychas will interpret Colline. Born and educated in Lucca, Puccini (1858-1924) pursued further studies at the Milan Conservatory. His first opera, «Le Villi,» was based on the familiar story of «Giselle,» the ballet, while recognition first came with «Manon Lescaut,» in 1893. Altogether, Puccini composed 12 operas, with the last one, «Turandot,» left unfinished at the time of his death. «La Boheme,» at the National Opera’s Olympia Theater, 59-61 Academias, tel 010.361.1516. Performances on Sunday, March 27, 29, 30 and 31 and April 3, 5, 6 and 7.

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