You would be amazed at the number of young and talented singers staking their life plans on a career in opera. Offering remarkable theater and passionate characters, opera has an attraction to fledgling vocal students and emerging artists that still grows across our country and abroad.
Regional companies like Boheme Opera NJ are truly committed to giving opportunities to career performers, designers, and directors. In doing so, its 29th and 30th seasons bring a wide range of new themes to its audiences. New Italian opera excerpts will be performed by the Boheme Opera Orchestra at the 18th Annual Mercer County Italian American Festival in Mercer County Park on Sunday, September 24, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. On the main amphitheater stage, the free concert, with $5 entry to the festival, will feature former Miss New Jersey, soprano Michele Sexton, and Metropolitan Opera tenor Todd Wilander under the baton of Artistic Director Joseph Pucciatti. www.italianamericanfestival.com
At the Monroe Township Library, 4 Municipal Plaza, Monroe Township, Boheme Opera returns with its free performance series, Wednesdays at 1 p.m., presenting three new programmatic themes. On October 11, Boheme Opera artists will celebrate Happy 150th Birthday, Don Carlo, with excerpts from the composer’s masterpiece; on November 8, the music of Kurt Weill will be highlighted; and on December 6, rare Puccini arias will be heard in Puccini as You’ve Never Heard Him. www.bohemeopera.com/?page_id=21
On Sunday, October 29, from 4 to 8 p.m., Boheme will host its 2017 Annual Gala — Falling in Love with Opera — at The Boathouse at Mercer Lake, 334 South Post Road, West Windsor. Spotlighting a quartet of exciting new singers performing sets of opera and Broadway, the occasion will feature silent auction, wine pull, cocktail segment, and sumptuous dinner stations. For details on sponsorship, auction and reservations, call 609-581-9551.
Boheme Opera’s sixth annual event at Grounds For Sculpture, 80 Sculptors Way, Hamilton, kicks off the holiday season on Friday, December 8, at 7 p.m. in its East Gallery. A new collaboration will be featured at the amazing 42-acre sculpture venue as Boheme brings music relating to Sensitive Chaos, on exhibit at GFS by photographer Elyn Zimmerman. This event will feature Boheme performers, an appearance by the Boheme Opera Chorus, and the event’s popular holiday sing-along. www.groundsforsculpture.org
Topping off Boheme Opera’s 29th season will be opera’s popular double bill of love betrayed, Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci. These two marvelous pieces are the perfect entry to live opera in its most down-to-earth portrayal, filled with the intense emotions of jealousy and revenge. Two fully staged performances are set for Friday, April 20, at 8 p.m. and Sunday, April 22, at 5 p.m. at Kendall Main Stage Theater, The College of New Jersey, 2000 Pennington Road, Ewing.
Looking to Boheme Opera NJ’s milestone 30th season: it will commemorate Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday celebration featuring Trouble in Tahiti and a Bernstein song review. In spring of 2019, Boheme will bring Verdi’s tumultuous yet intimate drama set in ancient Egypt — Aida. This will be the company’s second staging of this opera classic, a fitting celebration for 30 years of opera theater and outreach.
If you have not yet experienced live opera, Boheme’s 29th and 30th seasons are great samplers.
Check opera off your bucket list. Try it — you will remember every moment. www.bohemeopera.com