OPERA AUSTRALIA: La Bohème at Dandenong

While it might not be considered an opera epicentre, the City of Greater Dandenong has scored a major coup, hosting the launch of Opera Australia's national tour of the beloved opera La Bohème.

Before hitting stages across Victoria, New South Wales and Tasmania, the acclaimed company will bring Puccini's timeless tale of bohemian love to the Drum Theatre on July 12 and 13. It marks the first stop on an ambitious Australia-wide circuit.

For local audiences, it's a rare opportunity to experience one of the world's most celebrated art forms in their own backyard, and witness a vivacious new staging of an all-time operatic favorite.

Award-winning director Dean Bryant has infused a fresh vivacity into this tragic romance which follows  a group of struggling young artists in 19th century Paris. His trademark wit aims to capture "that giddy moment where you and your friends feel you'll live forever."

When poet Rodolfo meets the seamstress Mimi, it's love at first touch. But as the bohemians revel in bustling cafes while rekindling fiery romances, their fates take a heartbreaking turn.

As Bryant explains, "Some emotions are too big for words alone, and for that, we have music."  Puccini's soaring, soul-stirring score elevates La Bohème into a transcendent exploration of young love's ecstasy and passion.

For Opera Australia, one of the world's most prominent companies, the Dandenong launch exemplifies their mission of increasing opera's accessibility across the nation while spotlighting homegrown talent.

It's an audacious goal that begins locally, bringing world-class artistry to suburban Melbourne before hitting the road. For Dandenong arts patrons, an unforgettable evening of high culture has arrived. 

La Bohéme at Drum Theatre
Friday 12 July. Saturday 13 July at 7.30pm.
Tickets start at $25 for Under 30s, and $50 for Drum Members.

Tickets: drum.greaterdandenong.vic.gov.au
Box Office: 8571 1666 

Director: Dean Bryant
Set and Costume Designer: Isabel Hudson
Lighting Designer: Damien Cooper

Duration: 2 hours and 30 minutes, including interval

Note: Sung in Italian with English surtitles. Performed with a live chamber orchestra. 

(top image: Daniel Boud)