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Australian Opera Celebrates 100th Performance of LA BOHEME

Gale Edward's wildly successful production of La Bohème is about to celebrate its 100th performance. This story of first love continues to be one of the most well-loved and accessible operas of all time, perfect for a first experience at the opera. Serving as the inspiration behind Rent, and Baz Luhrman's Moulin Rouge, this timeless classic transports viewers to another world.

It all began in Melbourne, so it's only fitting audiences are treated to this landmark performance at the Arts Centre Melbourne.

To celebrate this milestone, Opera Australia is releasing 100 tickets for 100 cents for the Wednesday 25 May performance of La Bohème. Chips aren't even that cheap. Tickets are limited to two per person, cash sales only, and may only be purchased in person at the Arts Centre Melbourne box office from 10am on the day of the performance (25 May).

"Whether it be through the frequent adaptions or the score having been used in films like Moonstruck and Atonement, La Bohème is familiar to most of us, even if you've never set foot into an opera house," saidLyndon Terracini. "If you're new to opera, this production of La Bohème is the perfect first show - the work itself is of course brilliant, the production values are second-to-none and the cast is magnificent. Certainly some of the finest singing you will hear anywhere in the world."

For people who miss out due to demand, Opera Australia has ongoing accessible programs including Student Tickets and the Wakil Foundation Access Program.

THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE 100 PERFORMANCES

A make-up artist, wardrobe manager, opera singer and two stage managers all have reason celebrate, having worked on every single performance of Opera Australia's La Bohème, since it opened in 2011. This Saturday marks their 100th performance. While you might expect a case of déjà vu or tales of repetition, it seems that life behind the curtain and on the stage is more colourful than many might realise.

From squeezing male actors into female costumes at the last minute to tenors unknowingly catching fire, there's never a dull moment.

"Every performance is different, with changes of cast over the seasons. The time backstage certainly flies," said Wardrobe Manager Bobby McKenzie, reminiscing on the various outfit changes over the year.

"I thought I might be too old to still be playing the energetic dandy that is Schaunard," recounts principal artist Shane Lowrencev. "It's amazing what 30 minutes in wigs and make-up can do to transform you. It's always a pleasure to unleash my inner fop."

For stage manager Miranda Summers, it was the moment director Gale Edwards made her mince down the stage as a rent boy during rehearsal. "As a stage manager, you're a usable body in the room. I've been mincing since day one and it still makes me giggle."

Shane Lowrencev - Principal Opera Australia artist, plays 'Schaunard'

Bobby McKenzie - Wardrobe Manager

Benjamin Lynch - Stage Manager

Miranda Summers - Assistant Stage Manager

Andrew Keshan - Head of Performing Wigs and Make-up


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