Opera Scotland

Bohème 2004Scottish Opera

Read more about the opera Bohème

The 2003-04 season of Scottish Opera was dominated by its opening event. Tim Albery's production of Der Ring des Nibelungen had been assembled during the three previous Edinburgh Festivals. The 2003 Festival was the culmination of this process, with complete cycles performed. After this intensive sequence of two Edinburgh cycles, the company moved on to give two in Glasgow and a final one at the recently opened Lowry at Salford Quays.

For non-Wagnerites, the rest of the season consisted of new productions of The Magic Flute and La bohème with a revival of Aïda. There was also an intimate staging of Eugene Onegin - with piano in the autumn and a small band in the spring. The Essential Scottish Opera tour of the Highlands and Islands took its regular place. A distinct novelty was a new piece composed specifically for children - on a larger scale than the company's previous works of this kind, The Minotaur by Julian Evans toured with a small orchestra.

Scottish Opera had only mounted two main stage productions of La bohème in its history, with Peter Ebert's, traditionally designed by Peter Rice, opening in 1967. It was succeeded in 1988 by Elijah Moshinsky's view, even more attractive in the atmospheric designs of Michael Yeargan. There had, over the years, been several small-scale touring versions, most of which had used modern dress, so the idea of a contemporary setting, with the café replaced by a modern art exhibition, already seemed a bit of a cliché. And the lighting (fluorescent strips) was so relentlessly bright that it quickly became wearing on the eyes. It led to an unusual lack of atmosphere and emotion in a work that usually seems bullet-proof.

Fortunately the musical side was a great deal better. Richard Farnes produced some lovely sounds from the pit, and the male quartet, in particular, was as good as you are likely to hear.

Performance Cast

Marcello a painter

Roderick Williams (Exc Jun 5)

Benjamin Bevan (Jun 5)

Rodolfo a poet

Peter Auty

Colline a philosopher

Alessandro Guerzoni

Schaunard a musician

Roland Wood

Benoit the students' landlord

Paul Anwyl

Mimì a seamstress

Rachel Hynes

Henriika Gröndahl (Apr 28; May 1m)

Parpignol a toy vendor

Declan McCusker

Musetta a grisette

Rebecca von Lipinski

Alcindoro a wealthy follower of Musetta

David Morrison

Custom-house Sergeant

Nigel Boarer


Steven Faughey

Performance DatesBohème 2004

Map List

Theatre Royal, Glasgow | Glasgow

28 Apr, 19.15 1 May, 14.15 25 May, 19.15 27 May, 19.15 29 May, 19.15 3 Jun, 14.15 5 Jun, 19.15 8 Jun, 19.15 11 Jun, 19.15

Eden Court Theatre | Inverness

20 May, 19.15 22 May, 19.15

Festival Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

15 Jun, 19.15 17 Jun, 19.15 19 Jun, 14.15 22 Jun, 19.15 24 Jun, 19.15 26 Jun, 19.15

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