Noah Stewart stars in Nashville Opera’s Puccini’s La Bohème

Last updated on November 21st, 2014 at 01:31 pm

La Boheme cast members (l-r): Danielle Pastin, Heather Buck, Craig Verm, and Noah Stewart photo: Reed Hummell/Nashville Opera

La Boheme cast members (l-r): Danielle Pastin, Heather Buck, Craig Verm, and Noah Stewart
photo: Reed Hummell/Nashville Opera

The Nashville Opera will offer two performances of Puccini’s masterpiece, La Bohème, on Thursday, October 9, at 7pm, and Saturday, October 11, at 8 pm in the Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Andrew Jackson Hall, at 505 Deaderick Street in Downtown Nashville. Puccini’s La Bohème is directed by John Hoomes, Maestro Jerome Shannon will conduct the Nashville Opera Orchestra, and Amy Tate Williams will lead the 42-person Nashville Opera Ensemble.

The world-renowned cast includes baritone Craig Verm as Marcello, mezzo-soprano Heather Buck as Musetta. Making their Nashville Opera debuts are tenor Noah Stewart in the lead role of Rodolfo and soprano Danielle Pastin as Mimi. All four are leading artists who have sung in critically-acclaimed productions with some of the most prestigious opera companies, including New York’s Metropolitan Opera, San Francisco Opera, Lyric Opera of Chicago, and Santa Fe Opera.

Rodolfo, a writer, shares a small garret in Paris with Marcello, a painter, Schaunard, a musician, and Colline, a philosopher. The four Bohemians are living in poverty, and yet still find plenty of humor in the situation. On Christmas Eve, their neighbor, a seamstress named Mimì, knocks on the door because her candle has blown out and she asks Rodolfo for assistance. When he takes her hand, Rodolfo instantly falls in love – and opera has never been the same.

With its thrilling, beautiful music and its mixture of high comedy and touching drama, the opera sweeps the viewer away into a world of young love, romance, and ultimately, bittersweet longing. With La Bohème, Puccini wonderfully captures just what it means to be young and alive through a brilliant mixture of lightness and darkness, all set to some of the most romantic music ever written.

La Bohème is the best example of an intensely romantic and passionate Italian opera,” says John Hoomes, General and Artistic Director Nashville Opera. “Puccini’s brilliantly lush orchestral score reveals new subtle nuances with each hearing, and this production, featuring new sets designed specifically for the Nashville Opera, will make the opera come alive in never-before seen ways. Whether you’ve had the chance to experience La Boheme before, or if this is your first operatic experience, this special production will offer something new and exciting for everyone.

Noah Stewart began doing voice-overs for Sesame Street and television school specials, and won first place in the New England Music Competition in Boston. Stewart attended Fiorello LaGuardia High School, where he performed his first opera (La Costanza in amor vince l’inganno).

He also sang back-up vocals for pop artists such as Hootie and the Blowfish and Coolio. During this time, Stewart developed a passion for opera, languages, art song, oratorio, musical theater and concert repertoire, and committed himself to pursuing an operatic career. Stewart was recommended by his mentor, the great soprano Leontyne Price, to attend The Juilliard School, where he was awarded a full scholarship. By the end of his senior year at Juilliard, Stewart was already receiving attention from the professional classical community and was unable to attend his own graduation due to his casting in the title role in Acis and Galatea on tour with The Bach Society of Columbia in Germany. Mr. Stewart’s 2012 debut album, Noah, for DECCA became a major success in the United Kingdom, topping the classical charts for 7 weeks.

The Nashville Opera’s production of La Bohème will feature a brand new set from renowned theatrical designer, Peter Harrison, with lighting and visual effects design from Barry Steele. It will offer Nashville audiences a stunning representation of Giacomo Puccini’s Paris of the 1820’s. As one of the most in-demand designers in theatre, Harrison has worked with performing arts companies all over the world including the Manhattan Theatre Club, Roundabout Theatre, McCarter Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, New York City Opera, Glimmerglass Opera, and Juilliard Opera.

Recent credits include Horton Foote’s The Roads to Home, off-Broadway with Jean Stapleton and Owen Wingrave for Chicago Opera Theater. TV designs include Sizwe Bansi Is Dead for PBS and John Leguizamo’s Emmy-winning Mambo Mouth for HBO. He has been nominated for the American Theatre Wing Design Award and the Barrymore Award.

Tickets start at $26 and are available by calling Nashville Opera at 615-832-5242, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center Box Office at 615-782-4040, or online at <www.nashvilleopera.org>. Si desea comprar entradas para eventos en el TPAC y necesita ayuda en español, por favor llame al 1-800-664-8941.

A limited number of ‘pay-what-you-can’ seats may be purchased directly from Nashville Opera’s main offices at the Noah Liff Opera Center in Sylvan Heights for a minimum suggested donation of $5. Mr. Hoomes will present the popular Opera Insights presented by Hilton Downtown Nashville discussion one-hour prior to curtain on the Orchestra Level and admission is free to all ticket holders. La Bohème will be sung in Italian with easy-to-read projected English supertitles. The performance has an approximate running time of 2 hours and 30 minutes, including two intermissions.

The Nashville Opera Guild will host a La Bohème-themed dinner prior to the Saturday October 11th performance at the Waller Lansden Dortch and Davis offices in the Nashville City Center at 511 Union Street. Reservations are available by calling Nashville Opera at 615-832-5242. In addition, members of Nashville Opera’s Young Professionals group, FORTE, will host a reception on the Balcony Level of the Andrew Jackson Theater lobby with complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres at 6:30 pm on the same night. To join FORTE, call Nashville Opera’s Community Relations Department at 615-832-5242.

Nashville Opera, Tennessee’s largest professional opera company, is dedicated to creating legendary productions and programs. Among the most successful regional companies in the United States of America, Nashville Opera has presented three different world premiere operas since its inception in 1981. Main stage performances are presented at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center and the Noah Liff Opera Center, playing to over 13,000 people annually. Nashville Opera’s extensive education and outreach touring program reaches over 25,000 students throughout Middle Tennessee. These projects are supported by grants from the Metro Nashville Arts Commission, the Tennessee Arts Commission, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Judy and Noah Liff Foundation, the Nashville Opera Guild, and many other corporate and individual supporters.