SEASON 09/10

Giacomo Puccini's

La bohème

Date : 29, 30 January 2010
1, 2, 3 February 2010
Time : 8.00pm
Venue : Esplanade Theatre
Language : Sung in Italian with English and Chinese surtitles
Duration : 2 hours and 15 minutes, excluding intermission
Enquiry : (65) 6336 1929

A brand new production directed by Andrew Sinclair, a resident director of The Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London

Set in the 1930s Paris, La bohème, stand as the most popular Italian opera of all time, promises to be to capture your heart with its love story and some of the most memorable and gorgeous tunes in the opera repertoire.



The Straits Times, Singapore, 01 Feb '10

"The Singapore Lyric Opera's third production of the veritable tear-jerker had most, if not all, the ingredients for a memorable five-evening run.

Central to this was soprano Nancy Yuen's sympathetic Mimi. She has lost none of her youthful ardour and vocal purity over the years, totally capable of portraying a role half her age convincingly.

Opposite her was Kota Murakami playing Rodolfo with a pleasant and bright tone that was complementary...

Song Kee Chang 's angst-filled Marcello, ..was the glue that united the principal cast.

Singaporeans William Lim and Martin Ng sang creditably their respective parts as landlord-cum-sugar daddy and Colline, with the latter having a shining moment in the 'Overcoat' Aria of Act Four.

There are many musical high points, among them: The love duet of Act One; the chorus crowd scenes of Act Two; Act Three the lovers reunited, reflected against the violent parting of Marcello and Musetta. The SLO Orchestra supported marvelously

That the Singapore Lyric Opera has been able to mount a production of this quality on its small annual budget is itself a remarkable achievement. "


LA BOHÈME is possibly Puccini's most famous opera. It is certainly the opera that made him well known outside Italy. He had had a success with MANON LESCAUT but musically and dramatically LA BOHÈME is far stronger piece. It is also some of the greatest romantic music ever written for the opera repertoire. People who do not go to the opera will most probably have heard some of the melodies from this opera. It is based on a series of short stories by Henri Murger called "Scenes de la Vie de Bohème" which appeared in a journal and were so popular that they were turned into a play. A great deal of the material in these stories is autobiographical and based on characters known to Murger. They are a vivid representation of student life in Paris at the time.

I have directed LA BOHÈME about nine times now and worked as an assistant director on many other productions earlier in my career.It is one of my favourite operas. It is some years since I have directed it and I am very happy to be returning to it. I always find it interesting to return to a piece you have known after some time. You view it differently ,your ideas can change,some remain the same. For a number of years I did a production for LA BOHÈME for Opera Australia .I came to do a revival of the production for another company with many of the same singers I had worked with before and I suddenly realised there was a stronger way in which one of the scenes could be played. Now in Singapore we are setting the opera in a different period. I have usually done it 19th century in various productions. Now we are doing it 1930s. The great thing about a number of Puccini's operas is that they are timeless. LA BOHÈME is certainly one of these. The basic story is as relevant now as it was when Puccini composed it. It is a romantic story but it is also a story of struggling students in a cold winter, illness and death. Sometimes it is too easy to get carried away by the romantic music and forget the story. Priscil Poh has designed a very interesting set and I am looking forward to working with her very much.