News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Akron Children's Hospital

The Holden Arboretum


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Arts and Entertainment


Opera per Tutti presents "La Boheme" at Cleveland's Saint Ignatius High School.
Collaboration is the keynote in reviving opera in Northeast Ohio
by WKSU's VIVIAN GOODMAN


Reporter
Vivian Goodman
 
Rodolfo, played by tenor Gary del Rosario, comforts Mimi, played by Soprano Andrea Anelli, in her final moments.
Courtesy of Valerie Brown | 89.7 WKSU
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

A task force recommends that for Northeast Ohio in today’s economy, opera should be less…grand, and more collaborative.  A co-production this weekend of La Boheme on a high school campus takes those cues.

Artists making do

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:50)


(Click image for larger view.)

Late Sunday night at St. Ignatius High School’s Breen Center for the Performing Arts  the  entire  cast is assembled, and props, like logs for the pot-bellied stove, fall into place, to set the scene.  Cold, hungry painters, poets, and musicians, huddle for warmth,  sharing what little they have.

Puccini’s La Boheme was first heard in 1896 in Turin, Italy, with Arturo Toscanini conducting.  It tells the story of young bohemians in Paris’s Latin Quarter in the 1840s. 

 Rodolfo, a writer, burns his latest manuscript to stoke the fire in the garret he and his artist buddies share.  He invites Mimi, the starving seamstress next door, to warm her frozen hands by the fire. 

Rodolfo and Mimi exchange their stories. They  fall in love. 

But before Mimi dies of consumption,  there’s  a lot of work to do. 

 

Artists working together in a poor economy
This is the first collaboration between Opera per Tutti and Blue Water Chamber Orchestra . The small opera company’s been in the region since 2008 but it’s only the second season for Carlton Woods’ new orchestra. 

 

Opera per Tutti’s  director Andrea Annelli hopes  to fill all 540 seats of the Hummer Theater in St. Ignatius’s new Breen Hall for this weekend’s performances. "It's the first time that opera's being presented at the Breen Center. They're very excited about it as are we. It’s a first-time collaboration with the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra which is quite a new professional orchestra in the area. All those things, the collaborations, are going to work out very well."    

Annelli, who also plays the role of Mimi, notes with satisfaction that her company is already doing what a task force of local and national opera experts recommends.

 Led by Opera America’s Marc Scorca, the task force told the now-silent and broke Opera Cleveland that to stage a comeback next season, it has to think small. " That they need to do smaller productions in smaller venues with collaborations. And so, I thought we've been doing that for four and a half years and so I think we're on to something here and I'm very excited about that and encouraged."   

Popular story  internationally
La Boheme is a good bet for Opera per Tutti. The story is familiar, popularized by the long-running Broadway adaptation, “Rent”.  It’s also the world’s fourth most frequently-performed opera.

Opera per Tutti’s budget is a frayed shoestring compared to the 2.4 million dollar budget Opera Cleveland had last year, but on the strength of its partnership with  the high school and the new orchestra,  at least the tiny troupe is performing.

The production is semi-staged and singers will be in costume.

Andrea Annelli notes that what she and her colleagues are doing has a parallel in the opera’s story of artists coping with poverty. “It's definitely a story about making do and also about sacrifices that people make. But one thing about it is that despite their circumstances they find ways of having fun, loving relationships along the way and I think that that's something amazing about human beings. Presuming you're not starving to death you find community and you find ways of making a life, the best of it under the circumstance that you can.” 

She says Giacomo Puccini understood poverty .”He was not born into wealth . I think he could really relate to this lifestyle and write about it realistically in terms of his day and age and it certainly, as ‘Rent’ shows,  it carries over into really any time period where young people are trying to make their way without too much money." 

The Met is putting on La Boheme  in New York next month with ticket prices as high as $350.  This  weekend at St. Ignatius, tickets are $25.


Related Links & Resources
Breen Center for the Performing Arts

Blue Water Chamber Orchestra website

Opera per Tutti website


Related WKSU Stories

Bringing back grand opera to northeast Ohio
Thursday, March 24, 2011

"Porgy and Bess" in Akron
Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ohio Light Opera continues to evolve in Wooster
Thursday, June 24, 2010

Another fully staged Mozart opera at Severance Hall
Monday, March 1, 2010

Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Study shows raising the cigarette tax a dollar could raise $342 million
So, it takes an expert to tell us raising the tobacco tax raises the revenue for the state? Doh. By the way, any one who was going to quit smoking probably alre...

Akron's Highland Square celebrates community spirit and public art
Both Donna and her husband, Joseph are both such amazing art talents! The photos look stunning! I must get down to Angel Falls for an in-person look. I just l...

Pluto: Another off-season, another Browns quarterback conundrum
The Browns do need a draftable QB for the future. Johnny Manziel needs to go and that leaves Brian Hoyer and Connor Shaw. Free agency doesn't really have any so...

Exploradio: Improving the lives of paralyzed people
God bless you doctor. I hope to be alive the day that humans, like me, can use the results of your search...

Nature and nourishment down by the river at the Metroparks' Merwin's Wharf
I love QUICKBITES! I look forward to it every week. One question: is it possible to include a link to the restaurant or store that you profile? Thanks!

Canton's proposed Timken-McKinley school merger is drawing spirited debate
From a sports opinion Varsity would have a lot more talent to choose from So Im sure varsity sports would improve.Also Timkens name would be much more published...

Canton school board will decide whether to merge high schools
I really hope we can save those jobs, usually we try to cut budgets but the demand is still the same. Then we look bad a year or two after the descion is made. ...

FirstEnergy wants PUCO guarantees on nuclear and coal prices
Would just comment that the plant has admitted the following (as reporting in the Akron Beacon Journal): "The utility has said it may have difficulty keeping t...

Mozzarella's easy when you have a way with curd
Hello, Where can I get such a heater that you have? Does it hold temperature that you set? What brand and model is it? Thank you in advance!! :)

Pluto: A healthy LeBron James is the key for the rocky Cavs
It's time to back our Cleveland professional teams through thick and thin. I've seen management, players and coaches come and go and it hasn't changed a thing. ...

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University