La bohème

Imagine you're dying. You're tired, worn; disease is sapping your last bit of strength. At the same time, however, you have to sing out about this, in a voice that will carry through Wortham Theater Center. That's the task ahead for Katie Van Kooten as she sings Mimi in Puccini’s groundbreaking tale of working-class friends and doomed romance in Paris — La bohème — which opens the Houston Grand Opera's new season. (And yes, La bohème, many years later, became the basis for the musical RENT.)

Van Kooten, who recently sang the Elizabeth I role to great acclaim in HGO’s production of Mary Stuart, said she welcomes returning to the role of the seamstress, revisiting it eight years after she first tackled it in a production at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. ''Puccini is a master of emotion. This opera is beautiful and funny and soul-inspiring, all the things that make great art,'' she said. John Caird, celebrated for his work with theater and musical theater productions such as Les Misérables and Hamlet, will direct. And look for the set design by Olivier award winner David Farley; he's filled the stage with canvases of street scenes.
Fri., Oct. 19, 7 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 21, 2 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 27, 7:30 p.m.; Tue., Oct. 30, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Nov. 4, 2 p.m.; Sat., Nov. 10, 2 & 7:30 p.m., 2012


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