Night and Day: Wednesday, March 22, 2006
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Sandra Lopez and Marcus Haddock star in Fort Worth Opera’s ‘La Bohème,’ this weekend.
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A D V E R T I S E M E N T
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Bohemian Rhapsody

By Leonard Eureka

A romantic look at a young band of aspiring writers making their way in the big city, Puccini’s La Bohème has stayed near the top of the operatic charts since its first performances in 1896. For Fort Worth Opera’s production this weekend at Bass Performance Hall, pre-show interest among theatergoers has been so great that an extra Saturday performance has been added to the schedule.

With its theme of love, life, and art!, the Italian composer’s best-known work has a timeless quality, which likely explains the preponderance of contemporary remakes, including the Broadway smash Rent, Moulin Rouge, and about a dozen other famous performance art pieces.

Double casting will be required for the principal roles of Mimí and Rodolfo. Soprano Sandra Lopez, a graduate of the Metropolitan Opera Young Artist Program, will lead the opening night cast. Her Rodolfo will be tenor Marcus Haddock, who was born in Fort Worth but raised in West Texas. He makes his local debut here.

Soprano Nicole Heaston, who sang Musetta in a recent PBS telecast with the New York City Opera, is set to sing the same role in Fort Worth. There’s a catch: She’s six months pregnant. In the virginal lyric soprano roles with which opera abounds, this could be a problem. But for the happy-go-lucky Musetta, an amoral creature who likes pretty things, it might just look like one of the hazards of a frisky lifestyle.

Saturday’s performance will feature soprano Christina Major as Mimí and, as Rodolfo, tenor Stephen Costello, who created something of a stir last week when he sang an excerpt from the opera at an Amon Carter Museum preview.

The Marcello will be Erik Nelson Werner, winner of the 2003 McCammon Voice Competition, sponsored by the Fort Worth Opera Guild. His appearance is part of the prize.

La Bohème runs Fri-Sun at Bass Peformance Hall, 555 Commerce St, FW. Tickets are $19-140. Call 877-212-4280.


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