“La Bohème” in Kentucky

Kentucky Opera


Friday, September 20 – 8pm & Sunday, September 22 – 2pm


La Bohème

Giacomo Puccini

Friday, September 20 – 8pm (Opening Night Gala)
Sunday, September 22 – 2pm

Love finds young bohemians in early 19th century Paris trying to make a living with their art. While there are fleeting moments of joy, the realities of poverty and ill health become too much and sacrifices must be made in an attempt to save one in their midst. Featuring Corinne Winters as Mimi and Patrick O’Halloran as Rodolfo, Puccini’s La Bohème is one of the top ten most performed operas in the repertory.

The Cast


Corinne Winters* as Mimi

Patrick O'Halloran

Patrick O’Halloran* as Rodolfo

Luis Orozco

Luis Orozco* as Marcello

Emily Albrink

Emily Albrink as Musetta

Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek

Christiaan Smith-Kotlarek*+ as Schaunard

John Arnold

John Arnold+ as Colline

Tony Dillon

Tony Dillon* as Benoit/Alcindoro


Patrick MacDevitt+ as Parpignol


Joseph Mechavich, Conductor

Creative Team

Joseph Mechavich, Conductor
David Roth, Director
Set Courtesy of  Tri-Cities Opera Company, Inc.
Robert Little, Set Design
Costumes supplied by Malabar Limited, Toronto
Jeff Bruckerhoff, Lighting Design
Lisa Hasson, Chorus Master

*Kentucky Opera debut
+Kentucky Opera Studio Artist


Setting: 1830s, the Latin Quarter in Paris

Act I, a garret in the Latin Quarter of Paris on Christmas Eve
In their cold garret, Marcello, an artist, and Rodolfo, a poet, burn pages of Rodolfo’s latest drama in order to stay warm. Soon they are joined by Colline, a philosopher, and Schaunard, a musician, who surprise them with food and fuel for the fire. Throwing some money on the table earned from his latest job, Schaunard suggests they spend Christmas Eve at the Café Momus. Before they can leave, their old landlord Benoit shows up to collect their rent. After a few drinks, Benoit reveals his indiscretions so the men throw him out without the rent. Rodolfo stays behind, promising to join them as soon as he finishes his article. Another neighbor, Mimì, appears and asks for assistance to light her candle. Rodolfo obliges and as she leaves, she collapses in a fit of coughing, dropping her key on the floor. While the two search for it, the draft blows out both candles. Rodolfo finds the key and quietly places it in his pocket. As the two continue to search in the darkness, their hands meet. He tells her of his dreams (Che gelida manina), and she tells of her simple life embroidering flowers (Mi chiamano Mimì). Immediately taken with one another, they go to the café together (O suave fanciulla).

Act II, a square with the Café Momus
Rodolfo buys Mimì a bonnet on the way to the café. The streets are filled with holiday revelers and vendors. As they sit down to dinner, Musetta (Marcello’s former girlfriend) appears with the wealthy and older Alcindoro. Although Marcello and Musetta attempt to appear indifferent, it is obvious that they still care for each other. In order to gain his attention, Musetta sings a song praising her popularity (Quando me’n vo). Complaining that her shoe is hurting her, she sends Alcindoro off so she is free to join her old friends, leaving Alcindoro to pay the bill when he returns.

Act III, a toll-gate on the Orléans road to Paris
It is February, and an ill Mimì searches for the reunited Musetta and Marcello. Catching Marcello as he leaves a tavern, Mimì tells him of Rodolfo’s jealousy, and that she feels they should separate. Mimì hides when Rodolfo appears and unaware of her presence, Rodolfo tells Marcello that he wishes to leave Mimì but admits that he fears her health will suffer if she continues to live in poverty. The two couples resolve to separate (Addio dolce svegliare). Marcello and Musetta part in anger, while Rodolfo and Mimì choose to stay together until spring.

Act IV, the garret in the Latin Quarter
Months later, in the garret, Marcello and Rodolfo commiserate about their loneliness. Colline and Schaunard enter, breaking the mood and offering a small meal. The four men forget their worries staging a mock sword fight. However, their laughter is short-lived, as Musetta arrives with the news that Mimì is dying and has asked to see Rodolfo. Mimì is brought upstairs and made comfortable while Marcello and Musetta leave to sell her earrings for medicine and Colline decides to sell his prized overcoat (Vecchia zimarra). Left alone, Rodolfo and Mimì recall their happiness together. Soon the others return, bearing a muff to keep Mimi’s hands warm. As Mimì is overtaken with coughing, it is obvious to everyone but Rodolfo that help has come too late. He is the last to realize that Mimì has quietly died; devastated, Rodolfo calls her name


Kicking off the 2013/14 Brown-Forman season is Puccini’s LA BOHÈME (September 20th and 22nd at the Brown Theatre). Kentucky Opera will present an exciting array of enrichment opportunities for students and adults to explore the world of opera.

Lunch & Listen

Wednesday, September 11, 2013 | 12:00 pm
Louisville Public Media | 619 S. Fourth Street
Broadcast live through a partnership with MetroTV and WUOL at the Louisville Public Media studios, a unique opportunity to meet main stage artists and Kentucky Opera Studio Artists performing live selections from the upcoming opera production. Kentucky Opera General Director David Roth provides commentary and interviews. For reservations, call 502-584-4500.

Final Dress Rehearsal for Students

Wednesday, September 18, 2013 | 7:00 p.m.
Brown Theatre | 315 W. Broadway
Kentucky Opera presents a special opportunity for students to attend the final dress rehearsal of each opera every season including on-line study guides and other opera information. This program is designed for students from third grade through college. All final dress rehearsals take place at the W.L. Lyons Brown Theatre and begin at 7:00 p.m. There is no late seating. Tickets for LA BOHÈME are $7.50 and must be purchased one week in advance through the Kentucky Opera Education Department. For more information, contact the Education Department at 502-561-7938 or deanna_hoying@kyopera.org. Reservations forms are here.

Opera Previews

Friday, September 20, 2013 | 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, September 22, 2013 | 1:00 pm
Brown Theatre 2nd floor Rehearsal Hall | 315 W. Broadway
Join Kentucky Opera’s Director of Education for a free informal talk to enhance your opera going experience. Musical and historical topics will be discussed as well as specifics on how Kentucky Opera produces opera in the Brown Theatre and new takes on standard repertory. All previews take place one hour prior to curtain time in the 2nd floor rehearsal hall of the Brown Theatre.

Cast Party

Friday, September 20, 2013 | after the show
Marketplace Restaurant at Theater Square | 651 S. 4th Street
Join the cast, production team and staff after the show to celebrate opening night at the Marketplace Restaurant at Theater Square.

Opera Talk back

Sunday, September 22, 2013 | after the show
Brown Theatre | Fifth Third conference room, 1st floor
Kentucky Opera offers the opportunity for patrons to stay and talk with the conductors, stage directors, and artists after the Sunday matinee performance.

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