Monday, July 9, 2012


LA BOHEME

 CENTRAL CITY OPERA



       As directed by Kevin Newbury, Central City Opera’s brand new “La Boheme’ is a strikingly minimalist, actor-driven production set in the 1930s.

      Elisabeth Caballero, the outstanding Micaela in last season’s “Carmen,” ravishes us as Mimi. With her soaring soprano and considerable acting talent this artist creates an indelible and heartbreaking portrait.                                                                                
                  Left to right: Elisabeth Caballero as Mimi and Eric Margiore as Rodolfo
                   Photo credit to Mark Kiryluk

      Eric Margiore’s Rodolfo is powerfully sung and acted. Margiore makes sure that each and all in attendance has his tear ducts aligned with his heart strings. From his singing of the aria describing Mimi’s cold little hands early in the opera to his final outcry of “Mimi!,” sounding the death knell of this young love, Margiore is nothing short of magnificent.

      Musetta is sung with delicious abandon by Deborah Selig, the outstanding Zerlinga in Central City Opera’s 2006 “Don Giovanni.” Ms. Selig sings and acts this Musetta with delicious, coquettish and virtuosic abandon.

Left to right: Deborah Selig as Musetta and Troy Cook as Marcello
Photo credit to Mark Kiryluk

      As Marcello, Troy Cook is a fine example of what the new opera artist must be. He sings rapturously and acts with style in both comic and dramatic moments.
   

Left to right: Chris Carr as Schaunard and Ryan Speedo Green as Colline
Photo credit to Mark Kiryluk

      Ryan Speedo Green’s Colline is sung with a profound resonance that will be remembered long after one leaves the opera house. Outstanding! Mr. Green has sung the Comendatore in “Don Giovanni” at Julliard Opera and here reprises the role of Colline, which he played in the recent production of “La Boheme” at Opera Colorado.
   
      The children of the Colorado Children’s Chorale sing with a celestial quality seldom found in such a young group. They move about the stage with the confidence and authority of truly professional artists.

      The Central City Opera orchestra has never sounded fuller or more luscious.

      Only one brief glitch momentarily broke the spell. The letters of the signage for CafĂ© Momus had to be moved a little bit to accommodate the blocking of the large assemblage of cast members at one point. It’s a small criticism for an otherwise perfectly enchanting evening of Grand Opera.


 Left to right: Eric Margiore, Elisabeth Caballero, Deborah Selig and Troy Cook
Photo credit to Mark Kiryluk

      This is an auditory banquet that is unmissable!
   
      Central City Opera is offering "La Boheme" in repertory with Benjamin Britten’s “The Turn of the Screw” and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma.” It is to be noted that two fully orbed productions of this “Oklahoma” will be presented at The Newman Center on the University of Denver campus as well.

      Summer festival performances take place from June 30 through August 12 at the Central City Opera House, 124 Eureka St., Central City CO 80427. 
The year-round administrative offices and box office are located at 400 S. Colorado Blvd, Suite 530, Denver CO 80246. 
BOX OFFICE: 303.292.6700 or centralcityopera.org


Marlowe's Musings

3 comments:

  1. I'm sorry but Margiore was very UN-magnificent. His voice was harsh and pressed throughout, especially the first two acts. It gave the listener a very uneasy feeling as he seemed to be "white knuckling it" through the music. He jilted the audience in the duet by taking the low (note) road. It doesn't matter how good he looked, he sounded like a tenor in training and not worthy of the praise I've been reading. There are so many extraordinary lyric and dramatic tenors out in the opera field who could have been an equal match for Caballero's sumptuousness. Margiore was not.

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  2. Emily, you are VERY wrong about the "low (note) road" in the duet. The practice of going up to the high C in unison with the soprano is an abominable practice that can be traced directly to the ego of Luciano Pavarotti and his ilk. Puccini did not even indicate it as an "ossia," as he did with the high C in the aria. It was not even supposed to be an option. Bullheaded tenors who insist on going up there and ruining Puccini's sweet harmony and thus ruining the sweet ending of Act I are to be shamed, not commended. Kudos to Margiore for having the ARTISTIC INTEGRITY and not the ARROGANCE that would have been displayed by ruining Puccini's music at that point. Anybody who thinks that going up to a note Puccini didn't even write as an option is a virtue doesn't know much about opera.

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    Replies
    1. Dear Unknown,
      This practice is not "traced directly" to Pavarotti. A quick search on YouTube can find tenors at early as the 1940's singing the high C at the end with the soprano (Corelli, Tucker, Bjorling, Di Stefano and countless others.) As a matter of fact, this particular tenor has a YouTube clip of him singing the high C in a performance (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0hEjuPMXE4) As a performer myself, I heard that he was in trouble during the aria and seemed to chose to take the safer route that many tenors may take from time to time. This had nothing to do with artistic integrity or subtlety. As the opera progressed, Mr. Margiore seemed to gain strength. Your arrogance in your reply to someone who was listening critically and had their own opinion is in poor form.

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