La bohème, November 2011, Photo by David Bazemore
Sponsored by the Mosher Foundation and the Elaine F. Stepanek Foundation
Friday, November 11, 2011, 7:30pm
Sunday, November 13, 2011, 2:30pm
- "Hard times are still upon us, but by some minor miracle, Santa Barbara has experienced repeated highs in one of the most expensive cultural propositions: grand opera. That thankful trend continued with Opera Santa Barbara's "La Bohème," a sturdy take on the Puccini chestnut. This "Bohème" fared so persuasively because it understood that the opera is grand opera on a human scale. In the pit, conductor Dean Williamson led a game and reliable orchestral force, and the singing talent delivered their goods with admirable power and confident, supple voice. What better way to cap off such a stellar opera year?"
– Josef Woodard / SB News–Press
- "The staging by Brad Dalton was impressive, integrating the tricky balance between boisterous joie de vivre and romantic loss. The costumes were sumptuous; the atmospheric sets captured the winterized landscape of a bygone Paris, and one could almost feel the presence of Van Gogh walking the streets and the world of lit cafes and dark alleyways. Baritone Malcolm MacKenzie fully embodied the painter Marcello with a rich vocal interpretation. Rebecca Davis delighted as Mimi, providing a delicate performance of vocal power."
– Robert F Adams / Casa Magazine
- "Opera Santa Barbara's sumptuous, polished and lyrical production of Puccini's La Bohème, that paean to youth and lost love, showed how far OSB has come as a company. As star-crossed lovers Mimi and Rodolfo, Rebecca Davis and Christopher Bengochea were passionate and poignant, and Jan Cornelius loaned her silvery soprano to that eternal minx Musetta. This Bohème was a resounding start to OSB's season."
– Margo Kline / Noozhawk
- "The curtain opened on a beautiful set and the boisterous camaraderie of the garret crew. The story's consumptive heroine Mimì is wonderfully sung and acted with intense vulnerability by Rebecca Davis. Act Two belongs to the charismatic and mischievous Musetta, played and sung with charm and abandon by Jan Cornelius. She so completely dominates the bustling Café Momus sequence, alternately appalling and delighting the audience with her pranks, that it felt as though they would be as willing as the characters onstage to carry her off in a grand procession."
– Charles Donelan / SB Independent
- "Puccini never fails to please, so it was absolutely no surprise that OSB’s production of ”La bohème” was a sell out. This is the third time the company has done the opera and it has clearly improved with age. Conductor Dean Williamson did wonders in the pit, while Harvard grad Brad Dalton, directing his first “Bohème”, captured the four-act work wonderfully. Rebecca Davis captured the part of the tragic heroine, Mimi, to perfection. It was a production not to be missed."
– Richard Mineards / Montecito Miscellany
Photo and Video Gallery
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Cast & Credits
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- Conductor: Dean Williamson
- Stage Director: Brad Dalton
- Scenic Design: Erhard Rom
- Lighting Design: Josh Epstein
- Wig|Makeup Design: Heather Sterling
CastMimì: Rebecca Davis
- Rodolfo: Christopher Bengochea
- Marcello: Malcolm MacKenzie
- Musetta: Jan Cornelius
- Colline: Gabriel Vamvulescu
- Schaunard: Steven LaBrie
- Benoît/Alcindoro: Jesse Merlin
- Parpignol: Ernest Alvarez
- With: The Santa Barbara Children's Chorus