Last week saw the opening night of Northern Ireland Opera's first live production in 19 months; a new site-specific production of La bohème at Carlisle Memorial Church, directed by the company's new Artistic Director, Cameron Menzies.
The production sees Gemma Summerfield making her role debut as Mimì, and Yuriy Yurchuk returning to the role of Marcello, which he has previously sung for companies including the Royal Opera House, Opernhaus Zürich and Opera North. Both artists have received excellent reviews:
"There’s an excellent Mimì, Gemma Summerfield, who produces beautiful sounds all night with an unfaltering legato line and some touching acting."
"...Yuriy Yurchuk makes a characterful Marcello..."
Richard Morrison, The Times ****
"[Rodolfo’s] other half, so to speak, the Mimi of Gemma Summerfield, gave a totally convincing and very moving performance, from effortless top B flats to lovely quiet moments."
"[Musetta’s] admirer Marcello, Ukrainian baritone Yuriy Yurchuk, is certainly another voice to watch…"
David Byers, The Irish Times ****
"…the sparky relationship between Yuriy Yurchuk’s swaggering Marcello and Emma Morwood’s pert Musetta feels authentic and true to the magic of Puccini’s melting score."
"Gemma Summerfield and Noah Stewart’s pivotal performances are vocally rich…"
Jane Coyle, The Stage
La bohème runs until 25 September - read more about the production here.
Photo credit: Helen Sloan