Monday, February 19, 2018

La Bohème Is Feb. 24, 2018, Met Opera Saturday Matinee Broadcast


Summary: The Feb. 24, 2018, Met Opera Saturday matinee broadcast is La Bohème by Italian opera composer Giacomo Puccini.


Sonya Yoncheva appears as Mimì in the 2017-2018 Met Opera season's winter performances, including the Feb. 24 Saturday matinee broadcast, of Puccini's poignant popular opera about young love and youthful death in bohemian Paris: Metropolitan Opera @MetOpera via Twitter Feb. 2, 2018

La Bohème, a four-act poignant opera about love and loss by Italian opera composer Giacomo Puccini (Dec. 22, 1858-Nov. 29, 1924), is the Feb. 24, 2018, Metropolitan Opera Saturday matinee broadcast.
Credit for the opera’s Italian libretto goes to Italian librettists and playwrights Giuseppe Giacosa (Oct. 21, 1847-Sept. 1, 1906) and Luigi Illica (May 9, 1857-Dec. 16, 1919). The libretto’s literary source is Scènes de la Vie de Bohème by French novelist and poet Louis-Henri Murger (March 27, 1822-Jan. 28, 1861). Murger’s novel links loosely related stories through settings in the Parisian Latin Quarter in the 1840s.
Puccini’s fourth opera premiered Feb. 1, 1896, at Teatro Regio (“Royal Theatre”) in the historic center of Torino (Turin), Piedmont, northwestern Italy. Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini (March 25, 1867-Jan. 16, 1957) conducted the premiere. Three years earlier, on Feb. 1, 1893, Puccini’s Manon Lescaut had also premiered at Teatro Regio.
Fifteen performances of La Bohème are scheduled for the 2017-2018 Met Opera season. Opening night, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, marked the opera’s 1, 306th performance at the Metropolitan Opera. Five additional performances were given in October (Friday, Oct. 6, at 8 p.m.; Monday, Oct. 9, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Oct. 14, at 8 p.m.; Thursday, Oct. 19, at 8 p.m.; Monday, Oct. 23, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Oct. 27, at 8 p.m.). Two performances were offered in November (Wednesday, Nov. 1, at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 4, at 8 p.m.).
Three late winter performances include the Feb. 24 Saturday matinee broadcast at 12:30 p.m. The month’s two additional performances are scheduled for Friday, Feb. 16, at 8 p.m., and Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m.
Early spring offers three performances: Friday, March 2, at 8 p.m.; Wednesday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m.; closing night, Saturday, March 10, at 8:30 p.m. Closing night will mark La Bohème’s 1,320th performance at the Metropolitan Opera.
Estimated run time for La Bohème is 2 hours 55 minutes. Acts I and II span 61 minutes. An intermission of 33 minutes follows the second act. Act III is timed for 26 minutes. An intermission of 26 minutes follows the third act. The fourth and final act runs for 29 minutes.
Marco Armiliato conducts all three late winter performances, including the Feb. 24 Saturday matinee broadcast, as well as in all three early spring performances. His birthplace is Genoa, Liguria, northwestern Italy. The Genoese conductor debuted Nov. 9, 1998, at the Metropolitan Opera in La Bohème by Italian opera composer Giacomo Puccini (Dec. 22, 1858-Nov. 29, 1924). In the 2017-2018 Met Opera season, he also conducts two more Puccini operas, Madama Butterfly and Turandot, as well as Il Trovatore by Italian opera composer Giuseppe Verdi (Oct. 10, 1813-Jan. 27, 1901).
The opera’s autumn performances were conducted by Alexander Soddy. His birthplace is Oxford, Oxfordshire, central South East England. The British conductor’s autumn appearances on the podium marked his Metropolitan Opera debut.
Sonya Yoncheva appears as Mimì, the endearing seamstress whose young death poignantly closes the opera, in all three winter performances, including the Feb. 24 Saturday matinee broadcast, as well as in all three early spring performances. Her birthplace is Plovdiv, south central Bulgaria. The Bulgarian operatic soprano debuted Nov. 21, 2013, at the Metropolitan Opera as Gilda in Verdi’s Rigoletto. In the 2017-2018 Met Opera season, she also appears in title roles in Puccini’s Tosca and Verdi’s Luisa Miller.
Update: In the spring performance Friday, March 2, Elizabeth Caballero replaced Sonya Yoncheva, who was ill, as Mimì. Her birthplace is Havana, northern Cuba. The Cuban-American lyric soprano debuted Dec. 31, 2009, as Frasquita in the Metropolitan Opera's 946 performance of Carmen by by French Romantic Era composer Georges Bizet (Oct. 25, 1838-June 3, 1875). (Updated by The Metropolitan Opera @MetOpera Twitter tweet March 2, 2018.)
Angel Blue appeared as Mimì in all of October’s performances. Her birthplace is Los Angeles, Southern California. The American operatic soprano reprises her Metropolitan Opera debut role. She debuted Oct. 2, 2017, in the 1,306th performance of La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera.
Anita Hartig appeared as Mimì in both of November’s performances. Her birthplace is Bistrița, northern Transylvania, central Romania. The Romanian operatic soprano reprises her debut role. She debuted March 19, 2014, in the 1,251st performance of La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera. In the 2017-2018 Met Opera season, Anita Hartig also appears as Antonia/Stella in Les Contes d’Hoffmann by German-born French composer Jacques Offenbach (June 20, 1819-Oct. 5, 1880).
Susanna Phillips appears as Musetta, Mimì’s friend, in all three winter performances, including the Feb. 24 Saturday matinee broadcast, as well as in all three early spring performances. Her birthplace is Huntsville, Madison County, northeastern Alabama. The American lyric soprano reprises her Metropolitan Opera debut role. She debuted Dec. 15, 2008, in the 1,201st performance of La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera.
Brigitta Kele appeared as Musetta in all of autumn’s performances. Her hometown is Cluj-Napoca, Cluj County, northwestern Romania. The Romanian soprano reprises her Metropolitan Opera debut role. She debuted Nov. 16, 2016, in the 1,296th performance of La Bohème at the Metropolitan Opera.
Michael Fabiano appears as Rodolfo, a poor poet who loves and loses Mimì, in all three winter performances, including the Feb. 24 Saturday matinee broadcast, as well as in all three early spring performances. His birthplace is Montclair, Essex County, northern New Jersey. The American operatic tenor debuted Jan. 11, 2010, as Raffaele in the Metropolitan Opera’s 18th performance of Verdi’s Stiffelio. In the 2017-2018 Met Opera season, Michael Fabiano also appears as Edgardo in Verdi’s Lucia di Lammermoor.
Jean-François Borras appeared as Rodolfo in the Oct. 14 performance. His birthplace is Grenoble, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, southeastern France. The French operatic tenor debuted March 3, 2014, at the Metropolitan Opera in the title role in Werther by French Romantic Era composer Jules Massenet (May 12, 1842-Aug. 13, 1912). In the 2017-2018 Met Opera season, he also appears as Nicias in Massenet’s Thaïs.
Russell Thomas appeared as Rodolfo in October’s three additional performances and also in both of November’s performances. His birthplace is Miami, Miami-Dade County, southeastern Florida. The American operatic tenor debuted March 10, 2005, as a Royal Herald in the Metropolitan Opera’s 178th performance of Verdi’s Don Carlo.
Lucas Meachem appears as Marcello, Rodolfo’s painter friend who loves Musetta, in all three winter performances, including the Feb. 24 Saturday matinee broadcast, as well as in all three early spring performances. He also appeared in five of October’s seven performances and in both of November’s performances. His birthplace is Raleigh, Wake County, central North Carolina. The American baritone debuted Dec. 10, 2007, as General Rayevsky in the Metropolitan Opera’s 11 performance of War and Peace by Soviet composer, conductor and pianist Sergei Prokofiev (April 23, 1891-March 5, 1953).
Michael Todd Simpson appeared as Marcello in the Oct. 19 and Oct. 23 performances. His birthplace is Gastonia, Gaston County, southwestern North Carolina. The American operatic baritone debuted Dec. 3, 2009, as Hermann/Schlémil in the Metropolitan Opera’s 241st performance of Offenbach’s Contes d’Hoffmann.
Alexey Lavrov appears as Schaunard, the bohemian group’s musician, in all three winter performances, including the Feb. 24 Saturday matinee broadcast, as well as in two (March 2, 10) of early spring’s three performances. His hometown is Pechora, Komi Republic, northwestern European Russia. The Russian baritone debuted Feb. 22, 2013, as a Flemish deputy in the Metropolitan Opera’s 203rd performance of Verdi’s Don Carlo. In the 2017-2018 Met Opera season, Alexey Lavrov also appears as Silvio in Pagliacci by Neapolitan composer Ruggero Leoncavallo (April 23, 1857-Aug. 9, 1919) and as Ping in Puccini’s Turandot.
Alexey Lavrov shares the role of Schaunard with three baritones. David Pershall appears as Shaunard in the March 7 performance. His birthplace is Oklahoma City, Oklahoma County, central Oklahoma. The American baritone debuted Dec. 29, 2015, as Figaro in the Metropolitan Opera’s 619th performance of Il Barbiere di Siviglia by Italian composer Gioachino Rossini (Feb. 29, 1792-Nov. 13, 1868).
Duncan Rock appeared as Schaunard in all seven October performances as well as in the Nov. 4 performance. His birthplace is Edinburgh, South East Scotland. The Australian baritone reprises his Metropolitan Opera debut role. He debuted Oct. 2, 2017, in the 1,306th performance of Puccini’s La Bohème.
Javier Arrey appeared as Schaunard in the Nov. 1 performance. His birthplace is Valdivia, southern Chile. The Chilean baritone’s November appearance in the 1,313th performance of Puccini’s La Bohème marked his Metropolitan debut.
Matthew Rose appears as Colline, the bohemian group’s philosopher, in all three winter performances, including the Feb. 24 Saturday matinee broadcast, as well as in early spring’s three performances. He also appeared in the role for two (Oct. 23, 27) of October’s seven performances and in both of November’s performances. His birthplace is Brighton, East Sussex, South East England. The English operatic bass reprises his Metropolitan Opera debut role. He debuted Nov. 18, 2011, in the Metropolitan Opera’s 1,240th performance of Puccini’s La Bohème. In the 2017-2018 Met Opera season, Matthew Rose also appears as Oroveso in Norma by Italian opera composer Vincenzo Bellini (Nov. 3, 1801-Sept. 23, 1835).
David Soar appeared as Colline in the opera’s first five performances (Oct. 2, 6, 9, 14, 19) for the 2017-2018 Met Opera season. His birthplace is Nottinghamshire, East Midlands, east central England. The British bass-baritone debuted Nov. 28, 2012, as Masetto in the Metropolitan Opera’s 532nd performance of Don Giovanni by Classical Era composer Wolfgang Mozart (Jan. 27, 1756-Dec. 5, 1791).
Paul Plishka appears in two roles, as Alcindoro, Musetta’s wealthy patron, and as Benoit, the bohemians’ landlord, in all performances, including the Feb. 24 Saturday matinee broadcast. His birthplace is New York City. The American operatic bass debuted as a Monk in the Metropolitan Opera’s 219th performance of La Gioconda by 19th century Italian opera composer Amilcare Ponchielli (Aug. 31, 1834-Jan. 16, 1886).
Met Opera’s 2017-2018 staging of La Bohème revives Franco Zeffirelli’s production and set design. The Italian film, opera and television director/producer’s staging of La Bohème debuted Dec. 14, 1981, as a new Metropolitan Opera production. His production team Peter J. Hall, costume designer, and Gil Wechsler, lighting designer. Gregory Keller is the revival stage director.
The opera’s setting is Paris, around 1830. Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production recreates circa 1840 Montmartre, a Right Bank (Rive Droite de la Seine), northern Parisian district favored by artists.
La Bohème appears as the 13th of the 2017-2018 Met Opera season’s 23 Saturday matinee broadcasts. Wagner’s Parsifal was the season’s 12th Saturday matinee broadcast. Parsifal aired Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018, at 11:30 a.m.
The season’s 14th Saturday matinee broadcast is Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. Madama Butterfly is scheduled for March 3, 2018, at 1 p.m.
Online database Operabase places Giacomo Puccini in third place in a worldwide ranking of 1,281 composers for the five seasons from 2011/2012 to 2015/2016. Second and fourth places are occupied by 18th century Classical Era composer Wolfgang Mozart and by 19th century Italian bel canto composer Gioachino Rossini, respectively.
La Bohème holds fourth place in the worldwide list of 2,658 most popular operas. Third and fifth places are held by 19th century French Romantic Era composer Georges Bizet’s Carmen and by Puccini’s Tosca, respectively.
La Bohème’s Metropolitan Opera debut took place Nov. 9, 1900. Prior to the 2017-2018 Met Opera season, La Bohème’s most recent Met Opera performances occurred during the 2016-2017 season.
The Metropolitan Opera’s Repertory Report provides statistics for the opera house’s operatic performances. La Bohème occupies first place. Verdi’s Aida is in second place. Verdi’s La Traviata occupies third place.
The takeaway for La Bohème as the Feb. 24, 2018, Metropolitan Opera Saturday matinee broadcast is that the 2017-2018 Met Opera season’s 13th Saturday matinee broadcast presents an appealing musical portrait of young love and untimely loss in early 19th century Paris.

Sonya Yoncheva in costume fitting for role of La Bohème's Mimì in 2017-2018 Met Opera season's winter performances, including the Feb. 24 Saturday matinee broadcast: Sonya Yoncheva @sonyayoncheva via Twitter Jan. 24, 2018

Acknowledgment
My special thanks to talented artists and photographers/concerned organizations who make their fine images available on the internet.

Image credits:
Sonya Yoncheva appears as Mimì in the 2017-2018 Met Opera season's winter performances, including the Feb. 24 Saturday matinee broadcast, of Puccini's poignant popular opera about young love and youthful death in bohemian Paris: Metropolitan Opera @MetOpera via Twitter Feb. 2, 2018, @ https://twitter.com/MetOpera/status/959443905912672256
Sonya Yoncheva in costume fitting for role of La Bohème's Mimì in 2017-2018 Met Opera season's winter performances, including the Feb. 24 Saturday matinee broadcast: Sonya Yoncheva @sonyayoncheva via Twitter Jan. 24, 2018, @ https://twitter.com/sonyayoncheva/status/956289013429817344

For further information:
"Composers: Composers Ranked by the Number of Performances of Their Operas Over the Five Seasons 2011/2012 to 2015/16." Operabase > Opera Statistics.
Available @ http://operabase.com/top.cgi?lang=en
“Debut: Brigitta Kele.” MetOpera Database > [Met Performance] CID: 356532 La Bohème {1296} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/16/2016.
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=BibSpeed/fullcit.w?xCID=302390
“Debut: David Pershall.” MetOpera Database > [Met Performance] CID: 356221 Il Barbiere di Siviglia {619} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/29/2015.
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=BibSpeed/fullcit.w?xCID=356221
“Debut: David Soar, Louisa Muller.” MetOpera Database > [Met Performance] CID: 354682 Don Giovanni {532} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/28/2012.
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=BibSpeed/fullcit.w?xCID=354682
“Debut: Javier Arrey.” MetOpera Database > [Met Performance] CID: 356778 La Bohème {1313} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/01/2017.
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=BibSpeed/fullcit.w?xCID=356778
“Debut: Matthew Rose.” MetOpera Database > [Met Performance] CID: 354168 La Bohème {1240} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/18/2011.
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=BibSpeed/fullcit.w?xCID=354168
“Debut: Michael Fabiano.” MetOpera Database > [Met Performance] CID: 353294 Stiffelio {18} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/11/2010.
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=BibSpeed/fullcit.w?xCID=353294
“Debut: Michael Todd Simpson.” MetOpera Database > [Met Performance] CID: 353209 Les Contes d’Hoffmann {241} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/03/2009.
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=BibSpeed/fullcit.w?xCID=353209
“Debut: Russell Thomas.” MetOpera Database > [Met Performance] CID: 351189 Don Carlo {178} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/10/2005.
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=BibSpeed/fullcit.w?xCID=351189
“Debut: Sonya Yoncheva.” MetOpera Database > [Met Performance] CID: 355145 Rigoletto {859} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/21/2013.
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=BibSpeed/fullcit.w?xCID=355145
“Debut: Susanna Phillips.” MetOpera Database > [Met Performance] CID: 352749 La Bohème {1201} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/15/2008.
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=BibSpeed/fullcit.w?xCID=352749
“Debuts: Aleksei Markov . . . Lucas Meachem . . .” MetOpera Database > [Met Performance] CID: 352228 War and Peace {11} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/10/2007.
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=BibSpeed/fullcit.w?xCID=352228
“Debuts: Alexander Soddy, Angel Blue, Duncan Rock.” MetOpera Database > [Met Performance] CID: 356747 La Bohème {1306} Metropolitan Opera House: 10/2/2017.
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=BibSpeed/fullcit.w?xCID=356747
"Debuts: Alexey Lavrov." MetOpera Database > [Met Performance] CID: 354871 Don Carlo {203} Metropolitan Opera House: 02/22/2013.
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=BibSpeed/fullcit.w?xCID=354871
“Debuts: Anita Hartig, Jennifer Rowley, Nicolas Testé.” MetOpera Database > [Met Performance] CID: 355378 La Bohème {1251} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/19/2014.
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=BibSpeed/fullcit.w?xCID=355378
“Debuts: Gregory Lorenz, Marco Armiliato.” MetOpera Database > [Met Performance] CID: 331123 La Bohème {1048} Metropolitan Opera House: 11/09/1998.
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=BibSpeed/fullcit.w?xCID=331123
“Debuts: Jean-François Borras, Mercer Patterson.” MetOpera Database > [Met Performance] CID: 355341 Werther {78} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/03/2014.
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=BibSpeed/fullcit.w?xCID=355341
"Debuts: Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Richard Eyre, Rob Howell, Irene Bohan, Elizabeth Caballero, Maria Kowroski, Martin Harvey." MetOpera Database > [Met Performance] CID: 353274 Carmen {946} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/31/2009.
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=BibSpeed/fullcit.w?xCID=355341
“Duncan Rock Baritone.” Royal Opera House > People.
Available @ http://www.roh.org.uk/people/duncan-rock
Kellow, Brian. “Sound Bites: David Pershall.” Opera News > Sound Bites, vol. 77, no. 8 (February 2013).
Available @ https://www.operanews.com/Opera_News_Magazine/2013/2/Departments/Sound_Bites_%E2%80%94%C2%A0David_Pershall.html
Marriner, Derdriu. “2017-2018 Met Opera Season Premiere of La Bohème Is Monday, Oct. 2.” Earth and Space News. Monday, Sept. 25, 2017.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2017/09/2017-2018-met-opera-season-premiere-of.html
Marriner, Derdriu. “La Bohème Is the Jan. 14, 2017, Met Opera Saturday Matinee Broadcast.” Earth and Space News. Monday, Jan. 9, 2017.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2017/01/la-boheme-is-jan-14-2017-metropolitan.html
Marriner, Derdriu. " Parsifal Is Feb. 17, 2018, Met Opera Saturday Matinee Broadcast." Earth and Space News. Monday, Feb. 12, 2018.
Available @ https://earth-and-space-news.blogspot.com/2018/02/parsifal-is-feb-17-2018-met-opera.html
Metropolitan Opera ‏@MetOpera. "For the this evening’s performance of LA BOHÈME, Mimì will be sung by Elizabeth Caballero, replacing Sonya Yoncheva, who is ill. #CastChange." Twitter. March 2, 2018.
Available @ https://twitter.com/MetOpera/status/969614462004137984
Metropolitan Opera @MetOpera. "'Soli d'inverno è cosa da morire!' 6 more weeks of winter! Puccini's tale of love's warmth in a cold Parisian winter returns Feb 16. #Bohème stars @sonyayoncheva & @MichaelFabiano." Twitter. Feb. 2, 2018.
Available @ https://twitter.com/MetOpera/status/959443905912672256
“New Production: La Bohème.” MetOpera Database > [Met Performance] CID: 266920 La Bohème {823} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/14/1981.”
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=BibSpeed/fullcit.w?xCID=266920
"Performances Statistics Through October 31, 2016.” MetOpera Database > The Metropolitan Opera Archives > Repertory Report.
Available @ http://archives.metoperafamily.org/archives/Database%20Opera%20Statistics.xml
Sonya Yoncheva @sonyayoncheva. "Costume fitting for La Bohème today. I can’t wait to come back to lovely Mimi. Opening night Feb 16, 2018 @MetOpera." Twitter. Jan. 24, 2018.
Available @ https://twitter.com/sonyayoncheva/status/956289013429817344

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