DESKTOP
TABLET (max. 1024px)
MOBILE (max. 640px)
Return to Top
Ludwig Van
Toronto Montreal

Opera review update: Canadian Opera Company raises curtain on spectacular alternate cast for La Bohème

By John Terauds on October 16, 2013

Tenor Michael Fabiano sings Rodolfo on three more dates: October 19, 27 & 30.
Tenor Michael Fabiano sings Rodolfo on three more dates: October 19, 27 & 30.

There was absolutely nothing wrong with the original cast in the Canadian Opera Company’s season-opening production of Giacomo Puccini’s popular La Bohème. But the alternate cast introduced at the Four Seasons Centre on Wednesday night was nothing short of spectacular.

Out of the seven remaining shows, there are three magic dates left — October 19, 27, & 30 — in which to catch fabulous 29-year-old American tenor Michael Fabiano, who has been cast as Rodolfo. His Mimi is Canadian soprano Joyce El-Khoury, who not only sings and acts beautifully, but also brings real stage chemistry to play in her relationship with Rodolfo.

There’s much shuffling of other cast members, fine singers all, that manages to maintain the original ensemble’s youthful energy and appeal. The other notable casting change on these three dates is for Musetta, the other significant female cast member.

At Wednesday’s performance, Canadian soprano Simone Osborne slipped into El-Khoury’s shoes, singing strongly and gamely acting up a storm, but lacking the seductive charisma El-Khoury brought to the role on opening night.

Seeing an opera twice with two different casts was a great way of experiencing El-Khoury’s dramatic breadth, playing the outsize Musetta one night, and shrinking down to a tubercular Mimi the next. It’s no easy feat — yet El-Khoury someow manages to be equally convincing in both roles.

With great singers in place, this opera is also held aloft by its rich score, passionately realised on stage as well as in the orchestra pit — and, on Wednesday night, sung with a cast that included a tenor that operatic dreams are made of.

Hearing Michael Fabiano’s voice ring through the interior of R. Fraser Elliott Hall is alone worth the price of admission.

You’ll find my full original review here — and all production and ticket details here.

John Terauds

Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300
comments powered by Disqus

Ludwig Van Toronto

CRITIC'S PICKS | Classical And Opera Streams You Absolutely Need To See This Week: May 31 – June 6

By Joseph So on May 31, 2021

Classical music and opera events streaming on the web for the week of May 31- June 6.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_high_590x300

THE SCOOP | Meet History: Toronto’s New 2,500 Seat Concert Venue Backed By Drake

By Michael Vincent on June 8, 2021

Announced today, Live Nation has partnered with Toronto rapper Drake to open History, a new 2,500-seat concert venue.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article

THE SCOOP | Canadian Opera Company Releases Video Message For Next Season

By Michael Vincent on June 7, 2021

The Canadian Opera Company has released a video trailer announcing their eventual return to the stage next season.
Read the full story Comments
Share this article
lv_toronto_banner_low_590x300
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700
lv_toronto_ssb_atf_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_high_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_mid_300x300
lv_toronto_ssb_low_300x300
lv_toronto_tsb_high_300x700
lv_toronto_tsb_low_300x700

We have detected that you are using an adblocking plugin in your browser.

The revenue we earn by the advertisements is used to manage this website. Please whitelist our website in your adblocking plugin.