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Seattle Opera.

La bohème

Overview

The May 2, 2020 broadcast of this production on 98.1 KING FM was originally recorded on March 2, 2013. It features Francesco Demuro as Rodolfo, Elizabeth Caballero as Mimì, Michael Todd Simpson as Marcello, and Norah Amsellam as Musetta. Full cast list is available below.

Everybody’s favorite opera. … Genuine theatrical magic.”

The Washington Post


By Giacomo Puccini

A timeless story of love and loss. An audience favorite for over a century, this tale of four young Parisians who dedicate their lives to art and love is guaranteed to touch your heart. Puccini’s lush, romantic score—performed by a 60-piece orchestra—perfectly captures the simple joys and heartbreaking sorrows of the idealistic bohemians. Their camaraderie, conviction, and passions, masterfully conveyed by an iconic score, make La bohème easy to love—and impossible to forget.

In Italian with English Subtitles | at McCaw Hall
Performance Time: 2 hours, 40 minutes, including 2 intermissions

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Story

ACT I
Rodolfo is a poet, sharing a garret in Paris with his Bohemian friends: Marcello, a painter; Schaunard, a musician; and Colline, a philosopher. The men scrape along, picking up odd jobs and joking about their poverty as they pursue their arts. On Christmas Eve, a seamstress named Mimì knocks on the door. Her candle has blown out, and she asks Rodolfo for a light so she can return to her own apartment. At one touch of her cold little hand, Rodolfo falls in love with the fragile Mimì. He introduces himself in the aria “Che gelida manina.” She responds with an aria of her own, “Mi chiamano Mimì,” and their voices blend as they sing of love in the duet “O soave fanciulla.”

ACT II
Meanwhile, buoyed by an unexpected windfall, Rodolfo’s friends have gathered at the Café Momus to watch the people passing by and to enjoy a good meal. Rodolfo brings Mimì to the party. Marcello’s lover Musetta arrives with her latest protector, the wealthy and much older Alcindoro. As she sings her famous waltz, Musetta torments Marcello and Alcindoro, finally sending the older man away by pretending her foot hurts and demanding a new pair of shoes. While Alcindoro is gone, Musetta falls into Marcello’s arms and charges the Bohemians’ meal to Alcindoro’s account, much to the amusement of the crowd at the café. The friends leave together.

ACT III
On a cold winter morning some months later, Mimì seeks out Marcello. She wants his advice about Rodolfo, whose unreasonable jealousy is ruining their life together. Marcello tries to comfort her. When Rodolfo arrives, Mimì hides and Marcello questions him about Mimì. Rodolfo begins by accusing Mimì of being a flirt, but then confesses his real reason for trying to drive her off: Mimì’s coughing is growing worse, and Rodolfo has no money to provide medicine for her. Overhearing this, Mimì approaches Rodolfo and bids him goodbye in the aria “Donde lieta.” Grief stricken, the pair cannot bear to part yet and pledge to stay together until the spring.

ACT IV
One afternoon in the springtime, Rodolfo writes and Marcello paints at the garret, but their thoughts keep straying to their former sweethearts. Schaunard and Colline try to cheer the others up with a cheap supper, but the arrival of Musetta with a now drastically ill Mimì sobers all the men. Musetta gives her earrings to Marcello to pay for a doctor, and Colline decides to pawn his coat to help the girl (aria: “Vecchia zimarra”). Rodolfo stays by Mimì’s side, trying to cheer her by recalling their first meeting on the night that her candle blew out. The Bohemians return with their gifts, but it is too late. Mimì rallies for a few moments and then passes away. The distraught Rodolfo is the last to realize that she is dead.

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Cast

Francesco Demuro

Rodolfo

At Seattle Opera in 2012/13: Rodolfo, La bohème
At Seattle Opera in 2013/14: Duke of Mantua, Rigoletto

Hometown: Porto Torres, Italy
Seattle Opera Debut: Alfredo, La traviata (’09)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Roldolfo, La bohème (’13)
Recently: Ernesto, Don Pasquale (Teatro Filarmonico di Verona); Fenton, Falstaff (San Francisco Opera); Roméo, Roméo et Juliette (Arena di Verona)
Upcoming: Alfredo, La traviata (Royal Opera Covent Garden); Alfredo, La traviata (Opéra Bastille and Metropolitan Opera)

Last Updated: January 2014

Francesco Demuro

Rodolfo

Feb 23, 27 and Mar. 2, 6, & 9

Michael Fabiano

Rodolfo

At Seattle Opera in 2012/13: Rodolfo, La bohème

Hometown: Montclair, NJ
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently:  Cassio, Otello (Metropolitan Opera); Il Duca di Mantova, Rigoletto (Florida Grand Opera); Rodolfo, La Bohème (Semperoper Dresden)
Upcoming: Alfredo Germont, La traviata (Santa Fe Opera); Edgardo, Lucia di Lammermoor (Paris Opéra); Oronte, I Lombardi (Opera Orchestra of New York)

Last Updated: February 2013

Michael Fabiano

Rodolfo

Seattle Opera debut
Feb 24 and Mar 1, 3, 8, & 10

Elizabeth Caballero

Mimì

At Seattle Opera in 2018/19: Governess, The Turn of the Screw

Hometown: Havana, Cuba 
Seattle Opera Debut: Susanna, Le nozze di Figaro (’09)  
Previously at Seattle Opera: Donna Elvira, Don Giovanni (’15); Mimì, La bohème (’13)
Recently:  Florencia, Florencia en el Amazonas (Madison Opera); Mimì, La bohème (Metropolitan Opera); Violetta, La traviata (Compania Lirica Nacional de Costa Rica)
Upcoming: Florencia, Florencia en el Amazonas (Pensacola Opera); Mimì, La bohème (Austin Opera); Violetta, La traviata (Opera Grand Rapids)

Last updated: August 2018

Elizabeth Caballero

Mimì

Feb 23, 27 and Mar. 2, 6, & 9

Jennifer Black

Mimì

At Seattle Opera in 2012/13: Mimì, La bohème

Hometown: Houston, TX 
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Javotte, Manon (Metropolitan Opera); Musetta, La Bohème (Munich Philharmonic); Juliette, Romeo et Juliette (Arizona Opera)
Upcoming: Norina, Don Pasquale (Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse); Mahler’s Second Symphony (Santa Barbara Symphony); La voix humaine and Mahler’s Fourth Symphony (Castleton Festival)

Last Updated: February 2013

Jennifer Black

Mimì

Seattle Opera debut
Feb 24 and Mar 1, 3, 8, & 10

Michael Todd Simpson

Marcello

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Cecil, Mary Stuart
Seattle Opera Debut:
Hermann, The Tales of Hoffmann (’05)
Previously at Seattle Opera: John Sorel, The Consul (’14); Marcello, La boheme (’13); Escamillo, Carmen (’11)
Seattle Opera Young Artist: 2003/04; 2004/05

Hometown: Gastonia, NC
Recently: Ravenal, Showboat (Washington National Opera and San Francisco Opera); Demetrius, A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Metropolitan Opera)
Upcoming: Lescaut, Manon (Metropolitan Opera); Escamillo, Carmen (Washington National Opera); Ravenal Showboat (Dallas Opera)   

Last updated: February 2016

Michael Todd Simpson

Marcello

Feb 23, 27 and Mar. 2, 6, & 9

Keith Phares

Marcello

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Zurga, The Pearl Fishers
Seattle Opera Debut: Marcello, La bohème (’13)

Hometown: Manalapan, NJ
Recently: Father, The Scarlet Ibis (World Premiere, Prototype Festival); Count Almaviva, The Marriage of Figaro (New Orleans Opera); John Sorel, The Consul (Florida Grand Opera)
Upcoming: Charlie, Three Decembers (Florentine Opera); Carmina Burana (Madison Symphony); Elder Tull, Riders of the Purple Sage (World Premiere, Arizona Opera)

Last updated: October 2015

Keith Phares

Marcello

Seattle Opera debut
Feb 24 and Mar 1, 3, 8, & 10

Norah Amsellem

Musetta

At Seattle Opera in 2012/13: Musetta, La bohème
At Seattle Opera in 2013/14: The Women, Les contes d'Hoffmann

Hometown: Paris, France
Seattle Opera Debut: Gilda, Rigoletto (’04)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Musetta, La bohème (’13); Micaëla, Carmen (’11); Elvira, I puritani (’08)
Recently: Antonia, Les contes d’Hoffmann (Beijing Opera); Gilda, Rigoletto (Lyric Opera Baltimore); Amelia, Amelia al Ballo (Opéra de Monte-Carlo) 
Upcoming: Micaëla, Carmen (Deutsche Oper Berlin); Liù, Turandot (Cinncinnati Opera); Olympia, Antonia, Giulietta, Les contes d’Hoffmann in concert (Château de Versailles) 

Last Updated: May 2014

Norah Amsellem

Musetta

Feb 23, 27 and Mar. 1, 2, 6, 8, & 9

Jennifer Zetlan

Musetta

At Seattle Opera in 2013/14: Woglinde/Forest Bird, Der Ring des Nibelungen and Gilda, Rigoletto

Hometown: Wilmington, DE
Seattle Opera Debut: The Flier, Amelia (’10)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Musetta, La bohème (’13); Woglinde/Forest Bird, Der Ring des Nibelungen (’13)
Recently: Rebecca, Two Boys (Metropolitan Opera); Carmina Burana (National Chorale); arias from The Noblest Game (Seattle Symphony)
Upcoming: Stravinsky songs with orchestra (Chicago Symphony Orchestra); soloist, amass by Jocelyn Hagen, NY Premiere (Musica Sacra); Soloist, Golijov Songs and Beethoven Symphony No. 9 (Lexington Philharmonic)


Last Updated: January 2014

Jennifer Zetlan

Musetta

Feb 24 and Mar 3 & 10

Arthur Woodley

Colline

At Seattle Opera in 2015/16: Dr. Bartolo, The Marriage of Figaro

Bass (New York, NY)
Seattle Opera Debut: Dr. Bartolo, The Marriage of Figaro (’97)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Crespel, The Tales of Hoffmann (’14); Colline, La bohème (‘13); Alidoro, La Cenerentola (‘13)
Recently: Don Alfonso, Così fan tutte (Florida Grand Opera); Joe, Showboat and Father Trulove, The Rake’s Progress (Portland Opera)
Upcoming: Emile Griffith, Champion (Opera Parallèle); Dick Hallorann, The Shining (world premiere by P. Moravec at Arizona Opera)

Last Updated: January 2016

Arthur Woodley

Colline

Feb 23, 24, 27, Mar. 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, & 10

Andrew Garland

Schaunard

At Seattle Opera in 2014/15: Harlekin, Ariadne auf Naxos

Hometown: Kingston, MA
Former Seattle Opera Young Artist
Seattle Opera Debut: Riolobo, Florencia en el Amazonas (’05)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Schaunard, La bohème (’13)
Recent: Count Almaviva, Le nozze di Figaro (Dayton Opera); Young Galileo, Galileo Galilei (Cincinnati Opera) 
Upcoming: Silvio, Pagliacci (Hawaii Opera Theatre); Mercury, La Calisto (Cincinnati Opera) 

Last updated: January 2014

Andrew Garland

Schaunard

Feb 23, 24, 27, Mar. 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, & 10

Tony Dillon

Alcindoro/Benoit

At Seattle Opera in 2012/13: Alcindoro/Benoit, La bohème

Hometown: Clearwater, FL
Seattle Opera Debut
Recently: Rambaldo, La rondine (Des Moines Metro Opera); Zaretsky, Eugene Onegin (Des Moines Metro Opera); Alcindoro/Benoit, La bohème (Amarillo Opera and St. Bart’s Music Festival)
Upcoming: Soloist, Handel’s Messiah (Cheyenne Symphony Orchestra); Capulet, Roméo et Juliette (Des Moines Metro Opera); Alcindoro/Benoit, La bohème (Kentucky Opera)

Last Updated: February 2013

Tony Dillon

Alcindoro/Benoit

Feb 23, 24, 27, Mar. 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, & 10

Cast

Creative Team

Carlo Montanaro

Conductor

At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: The Elixir of Love

Hometown: Cecina, Italy
Seattle Opera Debut
Don Quichotte (’11) 
Previously at Seattle Opera: Rigoletto ('20); Il trovatore ('19); Madame Butterfly (’17); Mary Stuart (’16)
Recently:
 The Barber of Seville and La Traviata (Opéra National de Paris); Nabucco (Deutsche Oper Berlin)
Upcoming: Tosca (Opéra National de Paris), Fedora (Frankfurt Opera), Il Turco in Italia (Teatro San Carlo di Napoli).

Last Updated: September 2020

Carlo Montanaro

Conductor

Tomer Zvulun

Stage Director

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Eugene Onegin

Hometown: Tel Aviv, Israel
Seattle Opera Debut: Lucia di Lammermoor (’10)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Semele (’15); La bohème (’13)
Recently: Silent Night (Washington National Opera); Dinner at Eight (Wexford Festival Opera); Der Fliegende Hollaender and Rigoletto (Houston Grand Opera); Eugene Onegin (Atlanta Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City, and Montreal Opera) 
Upcoming: Silent Night (Utah Opera); Dead Man Walking (New Israeli Opera); The R(evolution) of Steve Jobs (Atlanta Opera, Austin Opera, Lyric Opera of Kansas City)

Last Updated: October 2019

Tomer Zvulun

Stage Director

Erhard Rom

Set Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Eugene Onegin, La bohème

Hometown: Seattle, WA
Seattle Opera Debut: La bohème ('13)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Semele (’15)
Recently: The Marriage of Figaro (San Francisco Opera); Rigoletto (Houston Grand Opera); La bohème (Dallas Opera)
Upcoming: Salome (Atlanta Opera); Don Giovanni (Washington National Opera); Samson and Delilah (Washington National Opera)

Last Updated: October 2019

Erhard Rom

Set Designer

Martin Pakledinaz

Costume Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: La bohème

Hometown: Sterling Heights, MI
Seattle Opera Debut: Orphée et Eurydice (’88)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Der Ring des Nibelungen (’01, ’05, ’09); Lohengrin (’94, ’04); Iphigénie en Tauride (’07)

Martin Pakledinaz designed costumes around the world for the most prominent houses in opera, dance, and theater. His designs have been seen at Metropolitan Opera, Santa Fe Opera, San Francisco Opera, and houses in France, Japan, Austria, and Germany. He designed for such dance companies as Mark Morris Dance Group, San Francisco Ballet, and New York City Ballet, and his designs were also often seen on Broadway, where he won two Tony Awards.

Martin Pakledinaz

Costume Designer

Robert Wierzel

Lighting Designer

At Seattle Opera in 2019/20: Eugene Onegin
At Seattle Opera in 2020/21: Don Giovanni

Hometown: New York, NY
Seattle Opera Debut: Turn of the Screw ('94)
Previously at Seattle Opera: Semele (’15); Ariadne auf Naxos (’15); La bohème (’13), Lucia di Lammermoor (’10); Aida (’08) 
Recently: Rigoletto (Houston Grand Opera); The Ghosts Of Versailles (Château de Versailles Spectacles); Shout Sister Shout! (Seattle Repertory Theatre)
Upcoming: Salome (Atlanta Opera); Samson & Delilah, Don Giovanni, Blue (Washington National Opera); Deep Blue Sea (Park Avenue Armory)

Last Updated: October 2019

Robert Wierzel

Lighting Designer

Joyce Degenfelder

Hair and Makeup Designer

Hair and Makeup Designer (Los Angeles, CA)

Joyce Degenfelder’s association with Seattle Opera began in 1992 with The Ballad of Baby Doe. In 2003, Degenfelder made her Seattle Opera design debut with Parsifal, and ever since she has designed makeup and wigs for all of Seattle Opera’s productions. In addition to her work with Seattle Opera, she is also wig master for Seattle Repertory Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and ACT Theater. Her work has been seen around the country including Seattle Children’s Theatre, Intiman Theatre, Alaska Repertory Theatre, and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre.

Read our interview with Joyce Degenfelder HERE.

Last Updated: October 2015

Joyce Degenfelder

Hair and Makeup Designer

Jonathan Dean

English Captions

Hometown: Okemos, MI
Seattle Opera Debut: Le nozze di Figaro ('97)
In-House Dramaturg for Seattle Opera
Previously at Seattle Opera:
English Captions Titlist (from Carmen '95 to Carmen '04); pre-performance lecturer (from Lohengrin '04 through Amelia '10); creator of the children’s operas Theft of the Gold and Siegfried and the Ring of Fire

Jonathan Dean

English Captions

Creative Team

Orchestra & Chorus

Orchestra

Violin I
Alex Velinzon, Concertmaster
Blayne Barnes
Cecelia Poellein Buss
Ayako Gamo
Leonid Keylin
Cordula Merks, Asst. Concertmaster
Mikhail Shmidt
Clark Story
Jeannie Wells Yablonsky
Arthur Zadinsky

Violin II
Michael Miropolsky, Principal
Gennady Filimonov, Asst. Principal
Evan Anderson
Stephen Bryant
Linda Cole
Xiao-po Fei
Adrianna Hulscher
Victoria Parker

Viola
Arie Schachter, Principal
Mara Gearman, Asst. Principal
Tim Hale
Vincent Comer
Penelope Crane
Laura Renz

Cello
Terri Benshoof, Principal
Eric Han, Asst. Principal
Vivian Gu
Hélène Ferret-Kaufman
Rowena Hammill
Charles Jacot

Double Bass
Joseph Kaufman, Principal
Jonathan Burnstein
Travis Gore, Asst. Principal
Matt McGrath

Flute
Judith Kriewall, Principal
Christina Medawar

Piccolo
Zartouhi Dombourian-Eby

Oboe
Ben Hausmann, Principal
Chengwen Winnie Lai

English Horn
Shannon Spicciati

Clarinet
Laura DeLuca, Principal
Kevin Morton

Bass Clarinet
Terri Garrett

Bassoon
Seth Krimsky, Principal
Michael Gamburg

French Horn
Mark Robbins, Principal
Andre Goodrich
Erin Porter
Ryan Stewart

Trumpet
David Gordon, Principal
Tony DiLorenzo
Ed Castro

Trombone
Ko-ichiro Yamamoto, Principal
David Ritt
Steve Fissel

Cimbasso
Chris Olka, Principal

Timpani
Michael Crusoe, Principal

Percussion
Michael Werner, Principal
Michael Clark
Ron Johnson

Harp
Valerie Muzzolini Gordon, Principal

On Stage Banda
Robin Perry, Principal Piccolo
Alicia Suarez, Piccolo
Charles Butler, Principal Trumpet
Vincent Green, Trumpet
Rob Tucker, Percussion

 

Personnel Manager
Keith Higgins

Assistant Personnel Manager
Scott Wilson

 

The Orchestra is composed of members of the Seattle Symphony Orchestra. Rotating members of the string section are listed alphabetically.

 

Chorus

Soprano
Donna Baldwin
Jennifer Bromagen
Marlette Buchanan
Jennifer Ceresa
Karen Early Evans
Melanie Hingson
Alexa Jarvis
Dana Johnson
Linda Mattos
Mary McLaughlin
Eleanor Stallcop-Horrox

Mezzo
Sylvia Baba
Lorraine Burdick
Laura Eichelberger
Elizabeth Geisbers
YeonSoo Lee
Gail Neil
Melissa Plagemann
Diane Radabaugh
Susan Salas
Kelly Vomacka
Lucy Weber

Tenor
Nathan Barnes
David Bukey
Brian Giebler
Tim Janecke
Stephen Jones
Neil Jordan
Jeffrey Jordan
Tony Kibbie
Bob Leavens
John Marzano
Joshua Quesada
Karl Marx Reyes
Steve Wall
Colin Ward

Bass/Baritone
Dan Aarthun
Bill Bland
Craig Cantley
Michael Dudley
Michael Dunlap
Craig Garretson
Craig Grayson
Glenn Guhr
Tom Hingson
Woong Kim
David Krohn
Dierre Lopez
Misha Myznikov
Brett Youngquist

Youth Chorus
Mary Elizabeth Adler
Corinne Bromagen
Emily Ceresa
Maren Gibson
Lauren Henrie
Max Laycock
Julian Mein
Ava Messinger
Nora Morlot
Anne Ying Ruhland
Ella Scudder-Davis
Parlin Shields
Kenadi Silcox
Brian Simpkins
Akhi Vadari
Izzy Woods

 

Supernumeraries

Luther M. Hintz, Supernumerary Captain
Diane Abbey
Waverly Araucto
Matt Birkeland
Kyle Cable
Rosetta Greek
Shawn Kavon
Sarah Rosoff
Bruce Schickler
John Smilgin
Olivia Taguinod
Scott Webster

Actors

Nickolai Pirak
Mickey Rowe

 

Orchestra & Chorus

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