Category Archive for: ‘Richard Connema’


An Outstanding Production of La Bohème


Puccini’s “La Boheme” is the most perfect example of boy meets girl, they fall in love and then the girl dies which usually happens in opera.  I am not sure how many times I have seen this beautiful opera over the years.  I know that this was the first opera that my parents took me to at the summer opera series in Cincinnati in 1942.  Since then I have seen Puccini’s opera in London, Paris, Copenhagen, Rome, New York, Los Angeles and here.

Ellie Dehn (Musetta), Giorgio Berrugi (Rodolfo), Leah Crocetto (Mimi) and Brian Mulligan (Marcello)

“La Boheme” is a new co-production with the Houston Grand Opera and Canadian Opera Company and it is remarkably excellent. There are two international casts and the night I saw it Leah Crocetto, Giorgio Berrugi and Ellie Dehn gorgeously sang the roles of Mimi, Rodolfo and Musetta.

Puccini’s score has always been wonderful, the sets in this production are intensely designed for both distinctive effect and quick scene-changes and the singing at the San Francisco opera is always outstanding but I do not think I have ever seen this opera so well acted in a way that squeezes out every nuance of the story.

American soprano Leah Crocetto as Mimi and Giorgio Berrugi as Rodolfo put in excellent performances as the tragic lovers.  Brian Mulligan, Christian Van Horn, Hadleigh Adams and Dale Travis all providing fine support. Leah Crocetto sings Mimi with a big, delivery that is very controlled. Giorgio Berrugi powerful tenor voice is pitch-perfect.

Ellie Dehn is marvelous as Musette. Her opening aria wearing a elegant red dress sang about how men find her sexually appealing wherever she goes was the vehicle for an extravagant entrance. She reinforces her entrance with her seductive allure with vivacious singing and high-spirited comic timing. Brian Mulligan is a vigorous and charming Marcello.  His singing is very lyrical. Dale Travis brings wit and charm to the joint roles of the landlord Benoit and the rich old fool Alcindoro.

“La Boheme” will have seven additional performances through December 7.   The November 22nd and 29th are “La Boheme for Families”  . For tickets call 415-864-3330 or

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