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Wilmington Opera: La Bohème

Thursday, July 18, 2019

An operatic masterpiece of love and loss, La Bohème will be performed by Opera Wilmington during the 2019 season of Lumina Festival of the Arts. Wilmington opera lovers will recognize Opera Wilmington—UNCW's resident opera company—who performed Die Fledermaus as part of last year’s Lumina Festival of the Arts. 

Opera Wilmington was founded in 2013 as the Cape Fear region’s only live and fully-staged professional opera company. Opera Wilmington has staged productions of The Merry WidowAmahl and the Night Visitors, and Carmen among others. 

La Bohème, the operatic headliner of this year’s Lumina Festival, was based on French writer Henri Murger’s episodic novel, Scènes de la vie de bohème (1847–49; “Scenes of Bohemian Life”) La Bohème is an opera in four acts that has been acclaimed all over the world since its world premiere in Turin, Italy in February of 1896.  

Many critics originally expected La Bohème to be similar to Manon Lescaut, with all of its drama and darkness. The lovely romance of La Bohème threw critics for a loop, but audiences were reeled in by its sweetness. Puccini described the initial public reaction of La Bohème as a “splendid reception.” 

Since its opening, La Bohème has been internationally performed, and its irresistible storyline has been adapted to suit a variety of audiences. One of the most popular adaptations is Jonathan Larson’s musical Rentwhich transforms the story of La Bohème into a modern rock musical infused with themes of drug use, homelessness, AIDS, and, of course, all-conquering love and friendship.   

Get swept away in the magic of opera and Puccini’s masterful tale of love and loss with Opera Wilmington’s La Bohème, to be performed on July 19 at 7 p.m., July 21 at 3 p.m., July 26 at 7 p.m., and July 28 at 3 p.m. at the Mainstage Theater. Tickets are available online, one hour before the performance in the Cultural Arts Building, or at the Kenan Auditorium Box Office Monday – Thursday from 1 – 4 p.m. 

View the full Lumina Festival of the Arts schedule online here.  

-Lindsay Lake