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05/09/2012

New Operatic Theatre Company Launches This Week With La Bohème

Quick Facts

 First presented in 1896, “La Bohème” is a love story that is one of the most frequently performed operas internationally.
 Sponsored by the Department of Music, Opera Experience Southeast is strongly committed to outreach and education in the community, and to introducing outstanding young American operatic talent to Southeastern audiences, according to director John Fowler.

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John Kaneklides and Krista Wilhelmsen
ROCK HILL, S.C. – A new operatic theatre company in Rock Hill will present its premiere performance of the Italian drama “La Bohème” on May 11 and May 13 at Winthrop University.

Sponsored by the Department of Music, Opera Experience Southeast is strongly committed to outreach and education in the community, and to introducing outstanding young American operatic talent to Southeastern audiences, according to John Fowler, director and assistant professor of music. His co-director is Marie-Claire O'Reirdan.

This week’s full-staged performance of Puccini's opera will be at 7:30 p.m. on May 11 and 3 p.m. on May 13, both at Tillman Auditorium. First presented in 1896, “La Bohème” is a love story that is one of the most frequently performed operas internationally.

“Our upcoming Tillman Auditorium performances will be our very first presentations as a company, we are excited and proud to have two Winthrop students, John Kaneklides and Amy Lefler, performing lead roles with us,” said Fowler.

The company next moves to Lincolnton, N.C. for a May 18 performance and then Danville, Va., for a May 20 performance.

Fowler, who started his master’s degree in voice performance at Winthrop in 1978 and finished it in 2004, spent 25 years singing opera all over the world. He sang 15 seasons with the Metropolitan Opera and won an Emmy for “La Bohème” in 1997 for a live performance at Lincoln Center.

Tickets at Winthrop are available at the door. Adults are $15; students, $10; and group rate of $10 for parties of ten or more available by calling 704/649-3811 or 704/649-1460.

Follow the company on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/OperaExperienceSoutheast

La Bohème cast list:

Rodolfo - John Kaneklides (current Winthrop graduate student)
 
Mimi (May 11) - Melinda Whittington (University of North Carolina graduate, about to join the Merola Young Artist Program at San Francisco Opera)

Mimi (May 13) - Krista Wilhelmsen (now in Artists Diploma Program at Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University)

Musetta - Amy Lefler (recent Winthrop graduate)

Marcello - Josh Conyers (graduate student, Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University)

Schaunard - Jeremy Johnson (graduate student at Jacobs School of Music, Indiana University)

Colline (May 11/13) - Jacob Will (professor of music, University of South Carolina)

Colline (May 18/20) – Michael Danes (Charlotte, N.C., native, graduate student at University of Maryland)

Alcindoro/Benoit - Mark Tofano (sings regularly with Opera Carolina)

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