OPERA Teens presents Observations From The Theater, What Is Love?
Cincinnati Opera’s June 24th Production of La Bohème
Often La Bohème gets labeled as the best first opera to see. Everyone tells you that it is short and the music is unforgettable. However, no one ever mentions that your relationship with love will change forever. They leave that for you to find out for yourself.
I discovered this at Cincinnati Opera's La Bohème. I was lucky enough to attend their performance on June the 24th. I heard many amazing things about Cincinnati Opera, but nothing could prepare me for the beauty I would witness that evening.
The stellar cast of the six companions consisted of the American soprano Talise Trevigne (Mimì), American soprano and 2021 Grand Finals Winner of the Met's Laffont Competition Raven McMillon (Musetta), Korean tenor Ji-Min Park (Rodolfo), Russian baritone Rodion Pogossov (Marcello), American bass-baritone André Courville (Colline), and American baritone Ethan Vincent (Schaunard).
I had a few days to reflect on my experience hearing them. Now, thinking of these characters, I feel a sense of harmony. It is this indescribable feeling of warmth, magnificence, and completeness.
Without spoiling the plot, their interpretation of birth, loss, and renewal of love made one understand that passion surpasses all troubles. It was as if the portamento in their voices was carrying this huge amount of adoration for their lovers, friends, and work. Indeed the cast's acting and presentation of Puccini's work gave the audience an idea of the greatness of love too.
As an aspiring soprano, watching Ms. Trevigne and Ms. McMillon was worth gold. Each of their motions and sound productions was polished off to the finest. For example, when Mimì sang the duet with Rodolfo (in which they decided to stay together until the spring) sitting in their seats, the audience could feel her pull and strainful desire to remain with Rodolfo. The tension transferred to the audience. Its effect on me was unforgettable. As an audience member (and teen), Ms. Trevigne's manifestation of Mimì made me want to love. It was complete glorification. Additionally, as a really young singer, the singers’ performance made me want to be like them one day.
However, some more amazing people brought this realization of La Bohème to life. The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Cincinnati Opera Chorus, chorus master Henri Venanzi, and conductor Mark Gibson were responsible for compiling intense waves of emotion. While the rest of the cast (Thomas Dreeze, Houston Tyrrell, Dicky Dutton, Randell McGee, and Mitchell Sturges) and the stage director gave the opera a whimsical touch and helped the performance be full of bliss. On top of all this, the scenic and costume designer Olivier Landreville, lighting designer Thomas C. Hase, and wig & makeup designer James Geier made a magical view and cotton candy for the eye.
Overall, this performance moved me. It was my first time seeing La Bohème, and I could not wish for anything better. Cincinnati Opera's realization of it made me understand that one should cherish passions.
I believe La Bohème will have a special place in all teens' hearts. After this experience, I can testify that it is an opera that changes how people think about love.