Stage Door News

Toronto: The Canadian Opera Company presents Puccini’s “La Bohème” April 17-May 22

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Puccini’s La Bohème, one of opera’s best-known love stories, is returning to the stage at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts. Art, life, love and loss collide for a charismatic group of struggling young artists in 19th-century Paris. Set to some of the most moving music ever composed, the story has captured the hearts of generations of audiences and inspired numerous adaptations, including the hit Broadway musical, Rent. La Bohème runs for 10 performances on April 17, 26, 28, May 2, 4, 5, 7, 11 (two performances), 22, 2019.

A mix of rising Canadian and international stars comprise this stellar cast: American soprano Angel Blue makes her COC debut as the doomed Mimì. Blue was named one of “18 to Watch” by Opera News this past year and shares the role with Lebanese-Canadian soprano and Ensemble Studio graduate, Miriam Khalil, who was recently nominated for a Juno Award for Classical Album of the Year. Brazilian tenor Atalla Ayan won San Francisco Opera’s Emerging Stars Competition in 2018 and shares the role of Mimì’s love, Rodolfo with “gifted young [American] tenor” (New York Times) Joshua Guerrero. Canadian soprano Andriana Chuchman brings her “sure, glorious sound” (Washington Post) to the role of the lively Musetta, which she shares with Toronto-based soprano Danika Lorèn, a recent graduate of the COC Ensemble Studio. American baritone Lucas Meachem and Polish baritone Andrzej Filończykalternate as struggling artist Marcello; Filończyk recently took home first prize at the International Vocal Competition in Petrovice and Meachem’s portrayal of Marcello at the Met recently earned him rave reviews. 

American bass-baritone and recent graduate of Metropolitan Opera’s Lindemann Young Artist Development Program Brandon Cedel shares the role of the philosopher, Colline, with Turkish bass Önay Köse, making his COC debut; Köse also appears as Lodovico in Otello this spring. Two Canadians share the role of the musician Schaunard: baritone Phillip Addis, reprising his role from the COC’s 2013 presentation, and COC Ensemble Studio bass-baritone Joel Allison.

Tony Award-winner John Caird directs this popular COC production, that was last performed in Toronto in 2014. Katherine M. Carter brings his vision to life as revival director; she is joined by Olivier Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated set and costume designer David Farley. The creative team drew visual inspiration from France’s Belle Époque period to convey characters’ rose-tinted sense of hope and absolute commitment to their art. The set cleverly incorporates a collage of canvases by the painter in the opera, Marcello, effectively framing the story on-stage within various Parisian locales. Richly coloured lighting design is by Michael James Clark.

Italian conductor Paolo Carignani (2012’s Tosca and 2016’s Carmen) returns to Toronto to lead the COC Orchestra through a sweeping score that includes Mimì and Rodolfo’s famously heartbreaking love duets. Italian conductor Antonello Allemandi, making his COC debut, conducts the final performance on May 22. Price Family Chorus Master Sandra Horst leads the COC Chorus through some of opera’s most memorable melodies.

La Bohème is sung in Italian and presented by the COC with English SURTITLES™.

La Bohème is a COC co-production with Houston Grand Opera and San Francisco Opera.


Angel Blue and Miriam Khalil*
Atalla Ayan and Joshua Guerrero*
Andriana Chuchman and Danika Lorèn*
Lucas Meachem and Andrzej Filończyk*
Brandon Cedel and Önay Köse*
Phillip Addis and Joel Allison*
Benoît and Alcindoro
Donato Di Stefano
Taras Chmil
Customs House Sergeant
Samuel Chan
Customs Officer
Jan Vaculik

Paolo Carignani and Antonello Allemandi**
John Caird
Revival Director
Katherine M. Carter
Set & Costume Designer
David Farley
Original Lighting Designer
Michael James Clark
Revival Lighting Designer
Davida Tkach
Price Family Chorus Master
Sandra Horst

* May 5, 11 (2pm), 22
**May 22


Single tickets for La Bohème range from $35 – $250 with Grand Ring seats available at $290and $350. Tickets are on sale now, available online at, by calling 416-363-8231, or in person at the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Box Office (145 Queen St. W.). For more information on specially priced tickets available to young people under the age of 15, standing room, Opera Under 30, student groups and rush seating, visit

Photo: Dimitri Pittas and Grazia Doronzio in COC’s La Bohème. © 2013 Michael Cooper.