Department of Musical Theatre to perform Italian opera

UNA’s Department of Opera and Musical Theatre will present Giacomo Puccini’s timeless classic “La Bohome” April 21 and 23.

“La Boheme,” an Italian opera, tells the story of young, struggling artists living in Paris as they experience life, loss, friendship and love.

The production will premiere in Norton Auditorium and features a cast of vocally trained music majors. An orchestra and a children’s chorus will accompany the cast.

True to the original production, the cast will sing each of the four acts in Italian. Those who do not speak the language will be able to read the English translation on a screen as the story unfolds.

Senior Gabrielle Fuqua, who portrays Mimì, said the experience of doing a show in another language has been a fulfilling challenge.

“The hardest part isn’t necessarily memorizing lines that are in Italian,” she said. “We have to understand what the words really mean so that we can show the emotion that goes with those lines to the audience.”

Senior Evan Hammond said it has been easy getting into character because he can empathize with the characters’ struggles.

“What’s great about this cast is we can relate to these characters at some level,” Hammond said. “All of us have been a broke college kid at some point.”

Director of UNA Opera Terrance Brown said he hopes this production will put audiences out of their comfort zone and help them to appreciate a form of art they would not normally see.

“We have to look outside the box in order to progress the arts further and also to keep humanity and humanism alive,” Brown said. “This medium is relevant because it’s complex and emotionally moving. It brings out the good and the bad in people.”

Fuqua said she is excited for the audience to see the production.

“We’re really fortunate to have a faculty that supports us and thinks we can do it,” Fuqua said. “They’ve really pushed us in the direction of success.”

The performances will be April 21 at 7:30 p.m. and April 23 at 2 p.m. in Norton Auditorium.

Advanced tickets are $12 for adults and $5 for students and are available at the George S. Lindsey Theatre. Tickets at the door are $15 for adults and $5 for students.