POPS’ ‘La Bohème: AKA The Hipsters’ Returns to Highland Park

A scene from the 2018 staging of “The Hipsters”
(photo courtesy of Pacific Opera Project

Pacific Opera Project closes the 2019 season with its signature production, “La Bohème: AKA The Hipsters.” First staged in 2012, the show transports Puccini’s timeless story of love and loss from Paris to contemporary Los Angeles, transforming the 19th century Bohemians into 21st century hipsters. With the drama beginning on Christmas Eve, it seems fitting that the show has become the company’s traditional holiday offering at the Highland Park Ebell Club.

Janet Szepei Todd, outstanding in POP’s 2019 stagings of The Mikado and Madama Butterfly, is this edition’s Mimi, a milestone role in a soprano’s career. Rudolfo will be sung by tenor Orson Van Gay II, equally memorable this year for his role in Long Beach Opera’s world premiere of Anthony Davis’s devastating opera “The Central Park Five” in May. Other singers include Maria Dominique Lopez as Musetta, Kenneth Stavert as Marcello and POP stalwart E. Scott Levin, who will doubtless chew (Ikea?) scenery as the musician Chaunard.

“La Boheme: AKA The Hipsters.” December 6, 7, 11, 13, 14, 2019, 8 p.m., presented by Pacific Opera Project at The Ebell Club of Highland Park,131 S. Ave 57, Los Angeles, CA 90042. Seats from $15. Visit pacificoperaproject.com for tickets and information.

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