The Detroit Opera invites audiences to return to the Detroit Opera House on April 2, 6 and 10 for a unique new production of artistic director Gary L. Wasserman’s “Bohemia” – the first personal opera performances on stage in more than two years and first under the new name Detroit Opera.

The production throws familiar elements in a new light when Sharon and the Detroit Opera stage a classical opera in reverse order from Act IV to Act I, with lyrics and music unchanged.

In this new arrangement, Sharon and Detroit Opera reevaluate the ways spectators and artists interact with the repertoire, bringing fresh eyes and ears to the classics, gaining hope from tragedy, life from death and love from loneliness.

Presented as a co-production with the Boston Lyric Opera and the Spoleto Festival in the United States, this bold, unconventional view of Puccini’s opus is in itself an experimental, inappropriate, and original work of art. La Bohème will be led by Roberto Culb, and the cast includes Marlene Nahas (Mimi), Matthew White (Radolfo), Edward Parks (Marcello), Brandi Ines Satan (Musette), Benjamin Taylor (Schonard) and Corey McGee. ). Also appearing is George Shirley as the Traveler, a new character created specifically for this production.

“The music that begins Act I and Act IV is almost identical,” says Sharon, “and even in its usual chronology, Bohemia is not a connected linear narrative, but a collection of short episodic narratives.” So the reverse chronology comes easier than you might expect. But the effect is profound: suddenly “Bohemia”, this classic, archetypal opera, becomes a bit of a mystery. We know that there is darkness in this, we are watching death and tragedy. But where does it start? Moving through the world of memory, we witness the resurrection and flowering of new love. If the audience leaves the theater, they will not stay with it
the burden of inevitability. Instead, they will be left with the thought that the pain was worth fleeting minutes of joy. We are moving backwards so that our audience can move forward. ”

In order to unite the story of the reverse staging, Sharon introduces a new role:
Traveler as George Shirley. The traveler will give an oral introduction to each act, helping viewers follow the reverse chronology of the story. This new text is taken from the source material for opera and stage directing, which allows the opera to remain true to its artistic and historical environment. In addition to the oral introductions to each act, The Wanderer will also appear in three new scenes that destroy the fourth wall; in each appearance the action will be suspended if he asks the audience to think in which direction the story could go.

George Shirley is a Grammy Award-winning artist known for being the first black tenor and the second black man to star in the Metropolitan Opera. Shirley, a native of Detroit, has extensive connections with the local community, graduating from Wayne State University and the Detroit Public School Public District, where he also taught music in his early years. Shirley made his European debut in La Bohème in 1960, when he played Rudolph at Milan’s Nuevo Theater; his world premiere performance as the Traveler marks a new milestone in the artist’s long and story-like career.

La Bohème performances will take place on Saturday, April 2 at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, April 6 at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, April 10 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets to La Bohème are available online at and from $ 29. . Orders for groups of 10 or more can be placed by email You can purchase a subscription by calling 313-237-7464.

Security protocols will be followed. All guests, performers, contractors, and personnel 12 years of age and older upon entering the Detroit Opera House must present evidence of complete vaccination against COVID-19, with at least 14 days elapsed between the final dose and the Detroit Opera House. an event or negative PCR test for COVID-19 taken within 72 hours of the onset of the event, or a 6-hour antigen test. Self-tests at home are not accepted.
Participants must present a photo ID issued by a government agency (such as a driver’s license or passport) that corresponds to a document confirming full vaccination / negative test. Examples to test vaccination, such as Clear and Bindle, are accepted and encouraged. The Detroit Opera House should always wear masks on the nose and mouth – except when actively eating or drinking, regardless of vaccination status.

LA BOHÈME will be shown on April 2, 6 and 10 at the Detroit Opera House in Detroit.

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