The first-ever season of the Florida Opera Festival is ending triumphantly.
The production of “La Boheme” which continues through Sunday, is technically masterful and emotionally wrenching.
From the delicate and precise playing of the Opera Tampa Orchestra, to the forceful and vocally rich performances by a huge cast, and on to the soaring sets borrowed from New Orleans Opera and the evocative lighting design by Bradenton resident Joseph P. Oshrey, everything is right with this production of Giacomo Puccini’s classic tale of tragic love.
|Marianne Fiset and Richard Troxell|
There are no weak links in the cast, and the performers in the lead roles all wield gorgeous voices. Some of the evening’s most special moments come when Richard Troxell (Rodolfo) and Marianne Fiset (Mimi) sing together, and their final scene, as Mimi succumbs to her disease, is downright heartrending. James Westman (Marcello) and Ella Tyran (Musetta) are no less impressive.
From the boisterous crowd scenes in act two to the most intimate moments between doomed lovers, director Frank Van Laeke and his cast, and Lipton and his musicians, have put together a thrilling evening that ought to please both opera novices and connoisseurs.
Remaining performances are at 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, March 9 and 10 at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts, 1010 N. MacInnes Place, Tampa. Tickets are $34.50 plus service charge, and up. 813-229-7827 or strazcenter.org.