A Night at the Opera — La Bohème

A musical night of love and tragedy at the Tryon Festival Theater

Written by Bill Xun

Taken by Bill Xun

This week the class went to see La Bohème, an Italian opera written by Giacomo Puccini, at the Tryon Festival Theater at the Krannert Center for the Performing Arts. It was the first time I’ve seen an opera and it was definitely a lot different than the other performances I’ve seen.

The first major difference is that all of the vocals in the performance were not only sung, but they were sung in Italian. I think that this was really interesting because since ( I would assume) that most people don’t speak Italian, you end up listening to the tone and emotion of the actors rather than what they’re actually saying. The music and the orchestra end up playing a huge part in the overall understanding and context of the opera. The fast beats, and the slow string melodies provided a really good background into the pace and actions of the characters, whether it was a fast dance piece or a slow love song. Maybe it was because I had a hard time looking at the subtitles, which were really high up on the stage, but I managed to get a good feel of the story, the emotions, and the characters just from the music/singing and the acting alone.

Taken by Bill Xun

The actual set and costumes were also really well done and contributed greatly towards the opera. The sets were wonderfully colorful and the costumes were also similarly colorful. The use of these sets and props were not exaggerated, but they were smartly used to further the plot without needing the actors to speak. Overall, while difficult to follow at times, the singing, the set, and the orchestra were amazing, and I would definitely go see another opera again.

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