La Bohème takes Coronado stage May 13

Rockford Symphony Orchestra (RSO) presents Giacomo Puccini’s opera La Bohème at 8 p.m., Saturday, May 13, at Coronado Theatre.

The production, featuring nationally acclaimed vocalists, a chorus composed of regional singers, and a children’s chorus, will be conducted by RSO Music Director Steven Larsen and directed by Impresario Vernon Hartman.

Tickets for the performance are available through the RSO Box Office at 965-0049, or through the Web site at Tickets are $35-$55. Group sale rates are available.

RSO has staged Madama Butterfly and Lucia di Lammermoor, but this production of La Bohème is unique because, for the first time in RSO’s 71-year history, the Symphony Orchestra will present an opera produced entirely by the RSO. From the casting, to costumes and sets, preparatory rehearsals, and the final performance, the RSO will bring La Bohème to life right here in Rockford.

The RSO has assembled a remarkable group of guest artists for the production. Cast is headed by world-renowned soprano Amy Johnson as Mimi. Johnson recently made her debut at Carnegie Hall and has performed with Glimmerglass Opera, and the New York City Opera (also broadcast on PBS’ Live from Lincoln Center), among other U.S. opera companies.

Returning to Rockford in the role of Rodolfo is tenor Jeffrey Springer, one of America’s finest lyric-spinto tenors.

The dashing young baritone, Kelly Anderson, who has appeared with the New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, as well as with international companies, will sing the role of Marcello.

Wisconsin native Kate Egan will be heard as Marcello’s on-again, off-again paramour Musetta.

The role of the young philosopher Colline will be sung by bass Keith Miller. A former starting fullback for the University of Colorado, Miller has since pursued a professional operatic career.

The musician Shaunard will be portrayed by baritone Michael Redding, who recently sang in Opera Carolina’s production of Porgy and Bess.

The dual roles of Benoit and Alcindoro will be assayed by bass-baritone Mark Freiman, who arrives in Rockford directly following his debut season with Sarasota Opera.

The adult chorus members include 23 regional singers, led by chorus master Martha Bein. Bein conducts the Mendelssohn Chorale, as well as serving as music director at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Rockford.

Rockford music specialist Aaron Bolden, who recently directed vocal music for the Rockford Public Schools’ production of Starmites, will direct the children’s chorus.

From the May 10-16, 2006, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!