‘La Boheme’ enthralls at Lyric Opera

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Carli Cadel/Kauffman Center of the Performing Arts

Lyric Opera Kansas City’s production of Giacomo Puccini’s classic love story “La Boheme” is either:

  1. An exquisite and beautiful presentation of a timeless classic love story
  2. An engaging and entertaining operatic performance delivered with technical precision
  3. A wonderful intersection of expressive songs performed by actors with powerful voices
  4. A performance that should not be missed by all lovers of musical storytelling
  5. All of the above

Every superlative contained in Webster’s Dictionary has probably been used at one time or another describing a performance of Pucccini’s “La Boheme”. Lyric Opera KC’s “La Boheme”, expertly directed by Kathleen Smith Belcher, with fabulous set design by R. Keith Brumle, splendid lighting design by Kendall Smith, and backed by the superb orchestration of conductor David Charless Abell, deserves all the accolades one can dream up and then some.

Carli Cadel/Kauffman Center of the Performing Arts

La Boheme” originally written and composed by Puccini in 1896 is an audience favorite and has become one of the most frequently performed operas in the world. This story incorporates a passionate love-at-first-sight story arc while traveling through the everyday small triumphs and struggles of a group of artistic bohemians living in mid-1800’s Paris, which ultimately ends in tragedy.

Even an opera novice can recognize the outstanding casting of the primary characters. The marvelous casting includes tenor Georgy Vasilievas as Rodolfo, baritone Timothy Renner as Marcello, bass Christian Zaremba as Colline and baritone Hadleigh Adams as Schaunard. Their singing is crisp and pure while still providing the acting “chops” that includes many more expertly delivered comedic moments than expected.

The fabulous female casting includes sopranos Raquel Gonzalez as Mimi and Sylvia D’Eramo as Musetta. Both have angelic voices and captivate the audience throughout the performance. Gifted sopranos, their expressive and intimate performances dominate the stage.

Carli Cadel/Kauffman Center of the Performing Arts

In addition, the technical re-creation and setting of the artists’ apartment and the Parisian streets and crowds they inhabit during the telling of this story effortlessly transports the audience to that place and time.

Lyric Opera KC’s “La Boheme”, running through November 17 at the Kaufmann Center, delivers everything desired in an evening, especially when you want to be immersed in a timeless and relatable story.  “La Boheme” is deserving to be retold over and over – especially when expertly delivered – as was this presentation by Lyric Opera KC.

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Gregory is an IT professional by day and an aspiring writer by night. He has a completed screenplay he's actively working to get produced and has started writing a new spec script. Gregory is an apprentice reviewer, but is an avid fan of theater, music, movies, dance and all things creative.


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