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NZ Opera's Rodolfo, young Texan tenor Jesus Garcia, previously sang the role in Baz Lurhmann's widely acclaimed Broadway production (2002); an adaptation by Australian-born Lurhmann (46) from his La bohème for Opera Australia (1990).

Antoinette Halloran as Mimì and Jesus Garcia as Rodolfo in New Zealand Opera's production of 'La bohème'. Photo © 2008 Neil Mackenzie
Antoinette Halloran as Mimì and Jesus Garcia as Rodolfo in New Zealand Opera's production of 'La bohème'. Photo © 2008 Neil Mackenzie

On Broadway Garcia was one of three 'pin-up' tenors and three picture perfect sopranos alternating in the parts of Rudolfo and Mimì (Jesus Garcia with Lisa Hopkins, Alfred Boe with Wei Huang -- and David Miller (of Il Divo with Ekaterina Solovyeva).

Lurhmann's production eventually received seven Tony Award nominations, including Best Revival of a Musical and Direction (Luhrmann), Orchestrations (Nicholas Kitsopoulos) and Costume Design (Catherine Martin). It won Best Set Design (Catherine Martin), Lighting Design (Nigel Levings) and the special award for Excellence in Theater (Principal Ensemble Cast).

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Copyright © 29 May 2008 Howard Smith, Masterton, New Zealand

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Classical Music Programme Notes for concerts and recordings, by Malcolm Miller