Talented new company's Fringe debut
This article is from 2010.
As the name may suggest, Opera Bohemia’s title was inspired by the aspiring artist characters in Puccini’s La Bohéme. Founded by two former RSAMD students, Alistair Digges and Douglas Nairne, this new opera company is a wealth of extraordinary fresh talent, with each of these young singers having remarkable depth and power to their voices. During passages of ensemble singing, they perform with impeccable blend, acting together seamlessly and maintaining absolutely perfect intonation throughout.
The real star of the show, however, is undoubtedly the South African soprano Pumeza Matshikiza, who plays the role of Mimi. By far the most experienced of the cast, her presence on stage is that little bit more professional, as she portrays the character with a rich, lustrous voice. The power in her voice does not always match with that of Alistair Digges in the role of Rudolpho, who during their duets tends to be overshadowed, if not totally drowned out by Matshikiza.
The reduction of the orchestral score to just solo violin, played by Amira Bedrush-McDonald, and piano, played by Laura Baxter, works astonishingly well in such an intimate production of one of the world’s best known and loved operas. Baxter displays an amazing array of tones and hues, providing a colourful and varied soundscape to this amateur production where the standard of both singing and acting is exceptionally high, with each member of the cast surely destined to go far in the operatic world.
Opera Bohemia, La Boheme, Tue 17 Aug, St. Andrews and St George’s West, Edinburgh, Thu 19 Aug, St Bryce Old Kirk, Kirkcaldy, Sat 21 Aug St John’s Renfield Church, Glasgow. 1930 – 2200, £10 (£8)