LA BOHEME – Puccini’s Opera at the Kay Meek Centre

Event Details

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Kay Meek Centre

A pre-concert talk will take place from 2-2.20 with James Wright from Vancouver Opera

Teeming with period detail, John Copley’s definitive production of this much-loved opera is traditional opera at its best. From a shabby garret to the bustling Café Momus to a snowy courtyard at dawn, this minutely observed panorama of 1830s Parisian life, beautifully designed by Julia Trevelyan Oman, conjures emotions and atmosphere ranging from joy to tragedy, in large-scale crowd scenes and intimate tableaux.

Puccini no doubt drew on his own student escapades – which anticipated his later reputation as a legendary bon viveur – for the robust humour of the comic scenes. And in his depiction of the tender and ultimately tragic love between Mimì (Maija Kovalevska, Carmen in 3D, 2010) and Rodolfo (Rolando Villazón, Rodolfo in Robert Dornhelm’s film version of the opera, the title role in The Royal Opera’s Don Carlo), Puccini achieved an immediacy, warmth and humanity that have rarely been equalled.

James W. Wright has been the General Director of Vancouver Opera since 1999. Before joining Vancouver Opera, Mr. Wright held the top management positions with Opera Carolina and Anchorage Opera.

During Mr. Wright’s tenure, VO has presented six company premieres, including 2010’s highly lauded Canadian premiere of Nixon in China and the world premiere of Lillian Alling, a new Canadian opera commissioned by VO. The company also commissioned two new operas for young people: Naomi’s Road (based on Joy Kogawa’s novel of the Japanese internment experience during WWII) and an environmental opera Jack Pine. Currently, VO is working on a new opera about bullying based on Stickboy, a novel-in-verse by Shane Koyczan.

Over the past decade, VO has initiated highly successful series of Community Forums and Opera Speaks programs, which demonstrate the relevancy of opera to contemporary British Columbians through seminars, panel discussions and other activities.

Mr. Wright serves on the board of OPERA America and has served on boards of Imagine Canada and Opera.ca. He is a past member of The Vancouver Foundation’s Advisory Panel for Arts and Culture and of the Vancouver City Planning Commission. He has also served as a panelist for the Canada Council for the Arts, the British Columbia Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts. His work in the community was recognized in 2013 when he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.

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