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Popular Puccini opera "La Bohme" to be staged in October

     Puccini's "La Bohème", an all-time favourite with opera fans, will be staged in October, jointly presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department and Opera Hong Kong.

     Set in the Bohemian quarter of Paris, "La Bohème" centres on the tragic love of the poet Rodolfo and the seamstress Mimì. Both living in poverty, they fall in love at first sight in the garret but are separated through Rodolfo's jealousy, and reunited only as Mimì lies dying. Since its premiere in 1896, "La Bohème" has become one of the most popular operas in the Italian repertoire and continues to be staged by opera houses around the world.

     With an astonishing melodic richness and a well-organised four-act structure, this masterpiece includes a series of moving arias and ensembles, such as Rodolfo's "Che gelida mania" (Your tiny hand is frozen), with its technically challenging high C, and Mimì's "Si, mi chiamano Mimì" (Yes, I am called Mimì), which have become famous Italian opera arias.

     This new production, a joint effort by Opera Hong Kong and Rome Opera, will be updated to the mid-20th century with a modern Paris setting. Famous Hong Kong tenor Warren Mok is the producer, Maurizio di Mattia from Rome Opera is stage director, and talented conductors Gianluca Martinenghi and Bruno Aprea will conduct alternative performances. The superb cast includes Jesus Garcia and Alesandro Liberatore as Rodolfo, and Sabina Cvilak and Erika Grimaldi as Mimì. Also performing will be the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Opera Hong Kong Chorus and Opera Hong Kong Children Chorus.

     The matinee performance on October 10 features talented young vocalists with Xue Haoyin as Rodolfo, Yuki Ip as Mimì, Sun Li as Marcello and Margaret Yim as Musetta.

     Puccini's four-act opera "La Bohème" (sung in Italian with Chinese and English subtitles) will be staged at 7.45pm on October 6 to 10 (Wednesday to Sunday), and 2.30pm on October 10 (Sunday), at the Grand Theatre, Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Tickets priced from $150 to $920 for evening performances, and from $120 to $550 for the matinee performance, are now available at all URBTIX outlets. Half-price concessions will be granted to senior citizens aged 60 or above, people with disabilities, full-time students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients. (Limited tickets for students and Comprehensive Social Security Assistance recipients are available on a first-come, first-served basis.) Please check programme leaflets for group booking discount information.

     For programme enquiries, call 2268 7321; for ticketing enquiries call 2734 9009. Internet bookings are available at For credit card telephone bookings, call 2111 5999. Visit for more information on the programme.

     There will be free opera talks conducted by Professor Rupert Chan in Cantonese. Interested parties are welcome to join on a first-come-first-served basis. Details are as follows:

September 3 (Friday) 7.30pm
GR1, 6/F, Backstage, Grand Theatre,
Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Topic: Puccini and "verismo" in opera

September 10 (Friday) 7.30pm
GR1, 6/F, Backstage, Grand Theatre,
Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Topic: Puccini's evergreen formula for success

September 17 (Friday) 7.30pm
GR3, 8/F, Backstage, Grand Theatre,
Hong Kong Cultural Centre
Topic: "La Bohème", the Puccini masterpiece

Ends/Friday, August 6, 2010


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