Sometime around the year 1830, at the Latin Quarter of Paris, four artistic friends lived, loved and made art. They existed for romance and passion, not money or fame. They were known as bohemians, and during the opening scene of the opera La Bohème, composer Giacomo Puccini introduces the audience to his romanticized version of their lives.
This Sunday at 2pm in the Price Family Cinema, the York Circle presents La Bohème, a Prestigious Performance captured in high-definition video before a live audience at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London, England. The magic of Puccini’s masterpiece will be accompanied by guided commentary provided by York PhD candidate Diana Di Mauro and a vocal demonstration by York alumna Vanessa Lanch (BFA Spec. Hons. ’07), under the guidance of York music Professor Catherine Robbin.
This tragic opera is one of Puccini’s most famous works and remains a favourite of opera newbies and seasoned opera lovers alike. The romantic story is straightforward and simple to follow. What strikes the listener are the luscious melodies and memorable music. The story is a classic that has been revived and revamped in many forms, the most memorable versions of which are the musical Rent, and the Hollywood film based on the musical.
Di Mauro’s introductory commentary will focus on singing technique, opera singers and history, helping the audience understand and appreciate this sometimes overwhelming and misunderstood art form. Di Mauro is pursuing her PhD in musicology, specializing in opera history and pedagogy. She is passionate about beautiful singing and has a gift for making opera fun and approachable for the uninitiated. She has done an extensive study of the Italian method of singing and Bel Canto, both in her doctoral research and as a trained classical singer.
The introduction will feature an operatic voice demonstration by Lanch, a vocal performance master’s graduate from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, England. She is also a laureate graduate of the Flanders Opera Studio in Belgium and holds undergraduate degrees for theatre and vocal performance from York University. Lanch has sung opera roles for the Centre for Opera in Sulmona, Italy, Wish Opera in Toronto, Opera By Request inToronto, Pax Christie Chorale, Stratford Symphony Orchestra, The Britten Pears Programme in Aldeburgh, UK, Flanders Opera in Belgium and the Grimeborne Fringe Festival in London, England.
The opera is 133 minutes in length and the performance will include a 15-minute intermission.
Tickets are $15.95 plus HST for York Circle members, $12.95 plus HST for students and $9.95 plus HST for children under 12 years of age. General admission tickets are $21.95 plus HST.
For more information on this special presentation or to learn more about membership in the York Circlie, visit the York Circle website. The York Circle receives generous support from York’s Alumni Office (program partner) and Toronto Community News and York Region Media Group (print media sponsors).