Project Puccini comes to Townsville
By Sophie Dillon
Opera Queensland held audiences captive at The Civic Theatre in August with their retelling of the Puccini opera, La bohème.
Project Puccini is a world-first initiative by Opera Queensland, which gives hundreds of Queenslanders the opportunity to perform in the chorus of a brand new production of Puccini’s La bohème.
36 adults and 12 children from Townsville were chosen to form a local chorus to sing in Italian and act alongside OperaQ’s principal artists and musicians from Queensland Symphony Orchestra in a professionally staged opera at the Townsville Civic Centre on 30 August.
La bohème opens on a snowy Parisian Christmas Eve, on the cusp of 1914. The story centers around Mimi, who falls in love for the first time with the poet Rodolfo and his group of rent-dodging flat mates. The opera follows the charming criminals as they love and live precariously on the edge of society. Puccini’s romantic classic has moved audiences for over a century, and has cemented itself as a favourite for lovers of opera. The opera was performed in fluent Italian, with English subtitles to complement.
Project Puccini is supported by the Queensland Government through Arts Queensland’s Playing Queensland Fund, and is also supported by the Graeme Wood Foundation. Below is an interview conducted by Sophie Dillon beginning with Opera Queensland Stage manager Mark Taylor and featuring some of the cast and crew in Townsville.