French classic 'La Boheme' coming to Opera Philly

Opera Philadelphia is closing its season with Puccini's legendary classic, La Boheme.

"Which translates to the bohemians," says singer Ashley Marie Robillard. "It's set in Paris and is about all of these bohemian artists who love each other and are navigating life together."

In this production, there's a special focus on the Impressionist era.

"The show opens with some dudes who are really good friends," Robillard explains. "Two of them live together: Marcello is a painter and Rodolfo is a poet.

On Christmas Eve, the friends embark on a series of adventures and find new romances along the way.

"There's something for the romantics and the realists and for the realistically romantic," says Robillard, who sings the soprano role of Musetta.

"Musetta is a wonderfully, fiery character. She is Marcello's on-again, off-again girlfriend," Robillard says. "She typically finds herself in the company of richer, older gentlemen whenever she's not in Marcello's company."

You'll see influences from the Art Museum and the Barnes in the costumes and set design, "Including Meadows which lives at the Barnes and Van Gogh's Sunflowers," Robillard says. "It's a beautiful thing that adds a through line to the whole production in a really lovely way."

The sounds of romantic arias also run throughout the show.

"It's full of lush music; it's overwhelmingly beautiful," Robillard says, "There's intimate moments and there's softness there. It has a little bit of everything."

For audience members, Robillard has this message, "I really hope that when people walk out of Boheme, they remember to love each other in the same way that these characters did."

Opera Philadelphia: La Boheme -- April 26-May 5
Academy of Music

240 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19102
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