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Opera Preview Print

North Carolina Opera Presents Puccini’s Ravishing Heartbreaker LA BOHÈME

Event  Information

Raleigh -- ( Fri., Jan. 24, 2014 - Sun., Jan. 26, 2014 )

North Carolina Opera: La bohème
Performed by Angela Fout, Eric Barry, Troy Cook, Soloman Howard
Starting at $25 -- Memorial Auditorium at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts , (919)792-3850 , http://www.ncopera.org/

January 24, 2014 - Raleigh, NC:

This preview has been provided by North Carolina Opera.

North Carolina Opera, under the leadership of General Director Eric Mitchko and Artistic Director & Principal Conductor Timothy Myers, presents Puccini’s La bohème in Memorial Hall at the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh on Fri., Jan. 24 at 8 p.m. and Sun., Jan. 26, 2014 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $27-$85 and may be purchased online at www.ncopera.org or by phone at 919.792.3850.

Puccini’s La bohème (the inspiration for Broadway’s RENT) opens on a snowy Christmas Eve in 1830’s Paris. A garret of struggling artists set out to blow their rent money on one splendid night in the Latin Quarter, swirling through unforgettable locales such as the Café Momus, which vividly springs to life in this production. The poet Rodolfo’s chance encounter with the seamstress Mimì sparks a passionate story of young lovers hurled together by fortune but driven apart by jealousy.

Arturo Toscanini conducted the world premiere of La bohème in 1896 at the Teatro Regio di Torino in Italy. Since that time it has become the world’s most popular opera, a timeless love story with sweeping, lush melodies that are often imitated but never surpassed. In the Triangle, La bohème was last performed in 2007.

La bohème is sung in Italian with English surtitles. Robert Moody, Music Director of the Winston-Salem Symphony, conducts the production, which is staged by Crystal Manich.


“The characters in La bohème are real. When they joke, you’ll get the humor. When they love, you’ll feel the passion. And when they cry, it will just about break your heart. That’s why it’s both a perfect first-time opera and a favorite that never loses its appeal,” said Eric Mitchko, NC Opera’s General Director.

“We are pleased to welcome Robert Moody, the Music Director of the Winston-Salem Symphony, as the guest conductor for this production, which features an ensemble cast of established performers and rising newcomers.” Mitchko concluded.


Soprano Angela Fout is the seamstress, Mimì, a role that she sang last season at Opera Memphis. She has sung many leading roles at Theater St. Gallen in Switzerland, including the titles roles in Madama Butterfly, La traviata, Arabella, and The Merry Widow and Lisa (Pique Dame), Amelia (A Masked Ball), Rosalinda (Die Fledermaus), and Donna Anna (Don Giovanni). She has also appeared at New York City Opera, Vancouver Opera, Minnesota Opera, The Atlanta Opera, and the Spoleto Festival, among others.

As the poet Rodolfo, tenor Eric Barry is reunited with Angela Fout, his Mimì at Opera Memphis. He has a close association with the Beethoven Easter Festival and the Polish Radio Orchestra in Warsaw, where has appeared as Avito in L’amore dei tre re, Don Luigi in Maria Padilla, Gabriele Adorno in Simon Boccanegra and the tenor soloist in Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9. He is a favorite at Amarillo Opera, where he has sung Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor, Ernesto in Don Pasquale, the Duke in Rigoletto, and Rodolfo in La bohème.  He frequently appears in concert with orchestras across the United States.

Soprano Jacqueline Echols is the flirtatious Musetta. She has appeared with The Cincinnati Opera in Rigoletto, The Magic Flute and Porgy and Bess, in which she sang the role of Clara. Her concert work includes performances with the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops, and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. She sang the role of Giulietta in Verdi's Un giorno di Regno at the 2013 Glimmerglass Festival. Her other roles include Anne Trulove in The Rake’s Progress, the Countess in The Marriage of Figaro and the Female Chorus in The Rape of Lucretia, all of which she sang at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. She is a first-year member of Washington National Opera’s Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program.

Baritone Troy Cook is Musetta’s on-again-off-again lover, Marcello, a role he has sung with Hamburgische Staatsoper, Opera Philadelphia, and Central City Opera. In 2011 at the Minnesota Opera, he originated the role of Father Palmer in Silent Night, the Pulitzer Prize-winning opera by Kevin Puts and Mark Campbell.  That world premiere production was filmed and will debut on PBS on December 13. Next season, he will sing Marcello at Pittsburgh Opera. Future engagements also include appearances at Opera Philadelphia, The Dallas Opera, and San Diego Opera.

Bass Soloman Howard is the philosopher, Colline. He has appeared at Washington National Opera (The Commendatore in Don Giovanni and the High Priest of Baal in Nabucco), Washington Concert Opera (Leone in Attila), the Baltimore Choral Arts Society, the Conservatory Project on the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage, and the American Opera Initiative, where he appeared as Muhammad Ali in the world premiere of Approaching Ali. He is a third-year member of Washington National Opera's Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program.

Baritone John E. Orduña is the musician, Schaunard. He has appeared with Opera Omaha, the Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Ensemble Monterey Chamber Orchestra, and Cincinnati May Festival. In 2013, he was member of the Studio Artist Program at Sarasota Opera and the Young Artist Program at the Glimmerglass Festival. His roles include Figaro in The Barber of Seville, Leporello in Don Giovanni, and Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette.


Guest conductor Robert Moody is the Music Director of the Winston-Salem Symphony, Artistic Director of Arizona Musicfest, and Music Director of the Portland Symphony Orchestra in Maine. Guest conducting appearances include the symphony orchestras of Chicago, Los Angeles, Houston, Indianapolis, Detroit, Seattle, Memphis, Ft. Worth, and Virginia, among others. Summer festival appearances include The Santa Fe Opera, Spoleto Festival USA, Brevard Music Center, Eastern Music Festival, PortOpera, and Skaneateles Festival. Maestro Moody has conducted many of the world’s top classical artists in concert, including Yo-Yo Ma, Itzhak Perlman, Renée Fleming, Van Cliburn, André Watts, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Robert McDuffie, and Lynn Harrell, among others. He has also conducted many of the leading pop artists of the day, including Canadian Brass, Doc Severinsen, Celine Dion, Manhattan Transfer, Chris Botti, and Chris Thiele, among others. His recordings include two with Canadian Brass: "Bach" and "Legends," and "4th World," highlighting the music of Native American recording artist R. Carlos Nakai.

Stage Director Crystal Manich has earned praise from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. This season she directs Aida for Pittsburgh Opera, Madama Butterfly for Opera Columbus, I puritani for Boston Lyric Opera and The Return of Ulysses for Opera Omnia, where she serves as co-Artistic Director. In March, she returns to NC Opera to direct Rusalka. Past engagements include productions of La traviata, Don Giovanni, The Flying Dutchman, Cendrillon and Madama Butterfly.  Next June, she directs Adriana Lecouvreur in Buenos Aires.


North Carolina Opera was formed in 2010 from the merger of Capital Opera Raleigh and The Opera Company of North Carolina. It is dedicated to presenting operatic performances at the highest level throughout the Triangle. We also have a robust education program that brings opera to schools across Wake County and surrounding counties. North Carolina Opera brings international level artists to Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, and also engages the best in local Triangle talent. Information about North Carolina Opera’s programs and events is available on our website www.ncopera.org or by phone at 919.792.3850.


An opera in four acts by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
Production from Opera Carolina
Sung in Italian with English Surtitles

Performance Venue, Dates and Times

Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Memorial Auditorium
2 East South Street, 
Raleigh, NC 27601

Jan. 24, 2014 at 8 p.m.
Jan. 26, 2014 at 3 p.m.

The running time of La bohème is approximately 3 hours, including two 20-minute intermissions.


La bohème is generously sponsored by Rose and Cliff Meltzer.

Ticket Information
Price: $27-$85 Phone: 919.792.3850 Online: www.ncopera.org
In person: 612 Wade Avenue, Suite 100, Raleigh, NC 27605

Creative Team & Cast

Conductor:  Robert Moody

Stage Director: Crystal Manich
Lighting Designer: Tlaloc Lopez-Watermann

Mimi: Angela Fout
Rodolfo: Eric Barry
Musetta: Jacqueline Echols
Marcello: Troy Cook
Colline: Soloman Howard
Schaunard: John E. Orduña
Benoit/Alcindoro: Kurt Melges

Casting, program, schedule, and pricing are subject to change without notice.

Bruce Loving