A dying seamstress and an impoverished poet fall in love. The opera follows them through their budding romance to their realization that they may not have much time left together and ultimately to her all-too-early death. Unlike other operas (like say Tosca, or La Traviata) the death in La Boheme is heartrendingly understated, there is barely even a change in the orchestra to indicate that she has departed. This simplicity and silence builds into a crescendo of people realizing what has happened until the last person in the room to realize it – her poet lover – finally notices. The text spoken as adding notes would take away from the weight of his anguish “why are you all looking at me like that?”
A gut-wrenching tragedy, and some of the best music ever written for the voice – this is the epitome of what operatic tragedy is and should be.
I’m singing in the chorus for this show, and very much looking forward to it. Come see the show in February 2018!