La bohème

La boheme cast_created by Damien Bredberg_editorialOpera Queensland will present a stunning new production of Giacomo Puccini’s classic La bohème at the Conservatorium Theatre from 12 July 2014. Known as the most romantic opera of all time, La bohème, which inspired the creation of many modern theatre works including Rent, will appeal to devotees and newcomers alike.

Beginning on a snowy Christmas Eve in Paris, it tells the tale of Mimi’s love affair with the poet Rodolfo and their group of rent-dodging flatmates living and loving precariously on the edge of society. Serving as a powerful metaphor for both the characters’ and humanity’s loss of innocence, OperaQ’s version is staged on the cusp of the First World War in 1914, where the young and carefree bohemians with an infectious passion for life are feigning adulthood in an artist’s garret.

Under the baton of respected Australian conductor Guy Noble, Puccini’s beloved opera will be brought to life by award-winning theatre director Craig Ilott of Smoke and Mirrors fame and internationally acclaimed designer Penny Challen. The cast features some of Australia’s most exciting singers – renowned soprano Hyeseoung Kwon will play the gorgeous Mimì, Emily Burke will sing the fickle Musetta and acclaimed tenor Bradley Daley will take on the role of Rodolfo.

OperaQ Artistic Director Lindy Hume said the new production of La bohème would be intimate, revealing and pack a whopping emotional punch.

“These bohemians are like any young people in love, they are fearless and wear their hearts on their sleeves – it is impossible to leave the theatre without being touched by their journey of self-discovery,” said Ms Hume.

“Audiences can expect the same thing that audiences have experienced for the past 100 years, a potent mix of romance, drama, passion, laughter and tears that, alongside Puccini’s ravishing and emotive score, will reach out and tug at the heartstrings.”

“Penny and Craig have created a wonderful world of art, set against a canvas which comes to life in front of the audience’s eyes, and, one of the great delights of this beautiful production is that that we will make it snow in Brisbane.”

Following the Brisbane season, La bohème will kick off a regional tour, taking the production to eight different cities throughout Queensland including the Gold Coast, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Maryborough, Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Mount Isa.

In a world first initiative dubbed Project Puccini, OperaQ has travelled to each city and auditioned and handpicked ordinary people to be part of the chorus. Following an intensive 10-week development program, hundreds of people across the state will be given the opportunity to sing and act alongside OperaQ’s principal singers (including Hyeseoung Kwon and Bradley Daley) and professional musicians from the Queensland Symphony Orchestra.

Mimi: Hyeseoung Kwon  Musetta: Emily Burke/Annie Lower  Rodolfo: Bradley Daley/Virgilio Marino  Marcello: Shaun Brown/Guy Booth  Schaunard: Guy Booth/Sam Hartley  Colline: Andrew Collis  Alicindoro: Sam Hartley  Benoit: Bernard Wheaton

Director: Craig Ilott  Conductor: Guy Noble  Designer: Penny Challen  Lighting Designer: David Walters  Chorus Master: Narelle French  Assistant Director: Jason Barry-Smith  Musicians: Queensland Symphony Orchestra and The Opera Queensland Chorus

La bohème
Conservatorium Theatre, Griffith University, South Bank
Season: 12 July – 2 August 2014
Bookings: 13 62 46 or online at:

For more information, including the regional tour, visit: for details.

Image: created by Damien Bredberg