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The Popular Puccini

La Boheme America’s favorite opera — opens at BU Theatre

Struggling artists fall in love, deal with tragedy, and sing their hearts out in the College of Fine Arts production of La Bohème, which opened last night at the Boston University Theatre. Set in the Latin Quarter of Paris in 1896, the well-loved opera follows the lives of a group of bohemian friends and their lovers through joys and hard times.

“There’s no moral — things just happen, and if they’re bad, that’s just life,” says Matthew Moore (CFA’07), who is playing the painter Marcello.

Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème is one of the most-performed operas in the country, second only to his Madame Butterfly. The hard-luck story inspired the award-winning 1996 Broadway musical Rent, and La Bohème ran successfully on Broadway in 2003.

Bohemians Mimì, Rodolfo, Musetta, and Marcello are brought to life by two casts of singers from the BU Opera Institute. Students from the school of theatre created and produced the set design, and school of music students form the chamber orchestra. Each year the Opera Institute produces two operas, giving students the opportunity to perform onstage.

“We’re all young and artists and struggling to make it, so it’s become a very personal show,” says Kirsten Hoiseth (CFA’07), who is singing the part of the femme fatale Mimì.

La Bohème opened Thursday, April 19, at the Boston University Theatre, 264 Huntington Ave., Boston. Additional performances are on Friday, April 20, and Saturday, April 21, at 7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, April 22, at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for BU students and alumni, $20 for the public, and one ticket free to each member of the BU community with ID at the door on the day of the performance, subject to availability. Tickets can be purchased at www.bostontheatrescene.com or by calling 617-933-8600.