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'La Bohème' staged in modern dress in Shanghai

By Qu Zhi  (Shanghai Daily)

08:15, October 16, 2012

A still of the premiere version of "La Bohème" at the Salzburg Music Festival in Austria.(Shanghai Daily)

A contemporary version of "La Bohème," using the original score and libretto, is set in today's Paris and is performed by actors who look like 21st-century street people in T-shirts, jeans and dark glasses.

The costume, staging and choreography update are intended to attract young people to opera through the universal love story of the poet Rodolfo and the consumptive seamstress Mimi in 1830s Paris.

Performances will be staged on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Shanghai Grand Theater.

On Thursday and Saturday, Spanish tenor Jose Bros will sing Rodolfo and Italian soprano Fiorenza Cedolins will sing Mimi. On Friday, Chinese singers will take the leading roles in the famous play about the lives of artists, poets, philosophers and other young people.

The four-act opera will be sung in Italian, with English and Chinese subtitles.

Daniel Oren will conduct. The acclaimed director is artistic director of the Verdi Opera House in Salerno.

The show is co-produced by the Shanghai Grand Theater and the Salzburg Music Festival in Austria, where it was premiered in August.

"La Bohème" embodies young people's pursuit of friendship, love and dreams, says director Damiano Michieletto, and this is a constant in a changing world. The modern backdrop includes a projected Google map of today's Latin quarter in Paris.

Michieletto says he hopes to capture the attitudes of young people today and narrow the distance between the stage and the audience.

Date: October 18, 7:15pm; October 19-20, 7:30 pm

Venue: Lyric Theater of Shanghai Grand Theater, 300 People's Ave

Tickets: 80-980 yuan (October 18, 20); 80-680 yuan (October 19)

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