Interview: Cara Consilvio- Director of LA BOHEME at Opera Grand Rapids

La Bohéme is the perfect opera for opera fans and newcomers alike. If you want to see a production worthy of a night out, buy your tickets to  La Bohème today!

By: Apr. 09, 2024
Interview: Cara Consilvio- Director of LA BOHEME at Opera Grand Rapids
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Interview: Cara Consilvio- Director of LA BOHEME at Opera Grand Rapids Have you ever wondered where the story of “Rent” or “Love Story” came from? Puccini’s classic opera has inspired generations with its true-to-life story of Rodolfo and Mimi — star-crossed lovers. With the romantic score and soaring melodies of Puccini, La Bohéme is the perfect opera for opera fans and newcomers alike.  Broadway World Michigan had a chance to interview the Director of this wonderful production in advance of the show and see what she had to say about La Bohème.

Broadway World Michigan: Can you give our readers a brief background of yourself and then your Opera career as an introduction?

I’ve started directing plays in elementary schools at recess and I never stopped. I have always loved telling stories. Before I transitioned to a full-time directing career about 11 years ago, I worked as an actor, singer, and producer. I fell into opera by accident when someone handed me the Puccini aria “O mio babbino caro.” I loved the music and loved singing it more than the musical theater repertoire I was singing. That led me to return to school to study opera vocal performance. In the process of learning how to sing opera over many years, I decided I was better suited to direct it. 

How would you describe La Bohème in your own words?

La Bohème is about love. It’s about experiencing the absolute highs and lows of life. It’s about joy and art and living in the moment. 

What was your introduction to La Bohème? 

It was the first opera I ever saw. I saw it at The Met in my early twenties. The Zeffirelli production was so beautiful. I also learned the role of Mimi. The only opera role I ever learned before transitioning into directing. I have an intimate and special relationship with the opera. 

 What made you decide to / want to direct La Bohème?

I have been wanting to direct this opera for almost twenty years. Early in my career, I assisted on a production and I have been eager to direct my own production for a very long time. I love the characters, the relationships, and the way the opera is dramatically structured. 

Did you do any special research in preparing to direct La Bohème?

I read the novella,  "Scènes de la vie de bohème",  by Henri Murger. I also did research on Paris in the 1800’s. 

 Do you have a favorite moment, line, “and/or” song in the show?

In the aria,  “Mi chiamano Mimi” I love when she sings “ma quando vien lo sgelo, il primo sole è mio, il primo bacio dell'aprile è mio!” musically it is so beautiful and Mimi is revealing her heart and her private self in that moment and sharing it with Rodolfo. I also love Act 3. It is my favorite act. 

What makes Opera Grand Rapids' production of La Bohème special?

It is a beautiful new production set slightly later in the 1890s with gorgeous projection and lighting design by Don Darnutzer and set design by local favorite John Dupres. This production was designed to maximize the grand feeling of DeVos Performance Hall. We also have an amazing cast. 

What makes Opera Grand Rapids' interpretation of La Bohème unique?

I think the use of projections in the design is different than most traditional productions. While the setting is still traditional, the use of current technology makes the production feel fresh.

If given the chance to see something else or La Bohème, why should people come to see your show?

It will be enormously entertaining and moving with world-class singers. 

What would you say makes your show stand out from other productions since it is such a well-known piece? 

I think I have a deep understanding of the characters and know how to direct the singers in a way that gives the most honest and moving performances. 

Why should people come to see Opera Grand Rapids’ production of La Bohème? 

It is an opera for people who aren’t sure they like or want to see an opera and a beloved favorite opera for long-time fans.  It gives you everything. Spectacle. Intimate drama. Laughter. Tears. 

What would you say to someone with no prior knowledge of La Bohème to get them to see the production?

Just come see it! You don’t need any prior knowledge. There will be titles that translate the Italian for you into English. 

If you want to see a production worthy of a night out, buy your tickets to  La Bohème today!  Tickets are selling fast, and it looks like they will sell out, just as in the past 2 years Grand Opera’s  Turandot, and Aida!

Dates for La Bohème are April 19 & 20, 2024 at 7:30 PM,

Performed at: DeVos Performance Hall

For Tickets call: 616.451.2741 or visit:

Connect with Opera Grand Rapids online at, Twitter at @operagr, and on Face Book at


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