Meet the cast of La Boheme

Sonya Valencia - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - Since its initial performance in Turin, Italy in 1896, Giacomo Puccini’s opera, La Boheme, has been regularly performed through the years in opera houses all over the world. This opera, probably the most enduring opus of Puccini, has been loved and enjoyed by millions of opera lovers.

A-Team, Lexus Manila, Nutri-Asia and SM Aura co-present Musicartes’ production of La Boheme on Oct. 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Samsung Hall of Aura. Local audiences will have an opportunity to witness the dramatic story of the opera, perhaps for the first time, and listen to Puccini’s music sung by a powercast of international singers joined by the best of our local artists.

Tenor Scott Ramsay, who will sing Rodolfo, is based in New York and has essayed at least 35 opera roles, not to mention performances in numerous concerts and roles in various oratories. He is highly regarded by opera companies and symphony orchestras throughout North America and Europe and has been praised for his “impressive, bright-voiced tenor” and “the passionate intensity that he brings to his roles.”

Finally, the country produces a singer who can vocally match the bigger sounds of foreign sopranos, with a voice that can cut a swath through the sounds of a full symphony orchestra.

Margarita Gomez Gianelli studied under Fides Asensio at the University of the Philippines, won the Rosa Ponselle International Vocal Competition, and was accepted into the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Now married to a musician and mother to a baby girl, Margarita is based in the US where she has participated in concerts, and accepted engagements in Paris and Madrid. Her limited concert appearances in Manila have earned her legions of fans who eagerly await her subsequent performances, and who should now be happy to watch her do the lead role of Mimi, the seamstress.

Brazilian-Italian baritone Fernando Araujo, who sings the role of Marcello, the painter, is a Renaissance man. He is an accomplished pianist, a family man, has varied interests in literature, film and sports, and a lover of Mozart. He studied Piano and Voice in Indiana University in the US, and at the Mozarteum University. His repertoire as a baritone includes various opera roles — Papageno, Figaro, Escamillo and Rigoletto.

Myramae Meneses plays the role of the coquettish Musetta. Ath age 18, she was the youngest winner of the 2010 NAMCYA competition. With her lovely lyric voice and musicality, several concerts have been lined up for her. Her star is steadily rising and her future is indeed looking bright.

Other members of the cast are Nonon Baang as Colline, the philosopher, Greg de Leon as Schaunard, the musician, Michael Bulaong as Benoit the landlord, Raymond Yadao as Alcindoro, a wealthy minister, and the 18 member ensemble of Viva Voce.

Jonathan Velasco, conductor and music director; Anton Juan, director; Otto Fernandez, set designer; Joseph Matheu, lights designer; and Musicartes team, costume design, MAC makeup design.

La Boheme, the compleat musical drama, is all about love, jealousy, friendship, health issues, emotional pain, money problems, with doses of humor, and the glorious and soaring music of Puccini.

Subtitles are provided for complete rapport with the Italian libretto.

(Tickets are available at all SM Ticket outlets, Musicartes at tel. nos. 895-8089/519-3603; 0918-9085088 or A-Team at 0918-9216835.)











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