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  • Writer's pictureAnnamaria Borelli

La Bohème: singing Opera in Rome, Italy

The artistic life. It is appealing to some, daunting to others. I think artistic life, and expat life are very similar. It’s a bit like tight rope walking, keep the balance and hope you make it to the other side. When I was a little girl, around the age of seven, I realized I could sing. One day, while listening to my girl Barbara Streisand, (my father was a theater teacher, so yes, Barbara Streisand was already known and loved. She was like aunt Barbara), I thought to myself, wow I can do this. “People, people who need people are the luckiest people in the world.” It just came out, effortlessly. It felt fabulous, the first note was like the first hit and I was hooked.

My favorite song when I was a little girl was “The Sun Will Come Out Tomorrow” from the Musical Annie. Let me tell you when the days get grey and lonely that song still comes to my mind. I would sing this song so much that my grandmother would yell, “Avast, Annamarì, AVAST! (This means "enough" in the dialect from the towns around Bari, Apulia). However, for me it was never avast, I was hooked from the first day I discovered my voice.

Here is little Annamaria around the age of 4/5 singing on the deck. This was an instagram story that translates to "I was a diva and am a diva." I really don't like divas to be honest, but I have to say, this kid is pretty cute!

As I matured, I realized that my voice had other characteristics and potential. My voice teacher at the time said, try this “O mio Babbino Caro, mi piace è bello, è bello!” I said, oh…”è bello” indeed! My voice just flourished. It was a new sensation, a new technique, it was, in fact, opera. At first I refused, I thought, “how could I betray my beloved musical theater?” It wasn’t a betrayal, it was expansion. A whole new world. A whole new repertoire.

There were years of conservatory, study, and exhaustion. At times you love it and at times you hate it. The plight of an artist is, you try to run away from it, but something keeps pulling you back in. You want to flee because you get so frustrated if the voice doesn’t work how you want it to, if the technique is not there, but then you have to go back. You must respect your talent. Wherever it comes from... God, Buddha, your soul, or your gut.

Maria Callas said, “singing is an expression of your being, a being which is becoming.” When you sing and you love it, something shines within you. You exude happiness, confidence, and pure joy. It’s a very attractive sight. Through all of these years of singing and struggle. After eleven years in Italy trying to audition on and off and nothing happening. I finally landed a role in La Bohème. My la vie Bohème is in motion. After studying the role for two years, rehearsing the blocking since September I am honored and proud to announce that I will be playing the part of Musetta at the Teatro Vittorio in Rome from January 4-January 16. I have the privilege of sharing the role with Giorgia Costantino. Another fellow soprano who came to Rome from Bari to study at the renowned Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia in Rome.

Giorgia Costantino si è trasferita da Bari a Roma per seguire la sua passione per il canto lirico è attualmente si sta laureando al Conservatorio Santa Cecilia”

(Giorgia relocated from Bari to Rome to follow her passion for Opera. She currently attends The Santa Cecilia Conservatory and is soon to graduate).

(from left to right) Vladimir Jindra - Marcello, Giorgia Costantino-Musetta, (at her feet), Martin Kurek - Benoit/Alcindoro, (next to Musetta) Flavia Colagioia- Mimì, Alessandro Fiocchetti-Rodolfo, Ivan Caminiti - Colline, Vittorio Ferlan Dellorco - Schaunard
(from left to right) Vladimir Jindra - Marcello, Giorgia Costantino-Musetta, (at her feet), Martin Kurek - Benoit/Alcindoro, (next to Musetta) Flavia Colagioia- Mimì, Alessandro Fiocchetti-Rodolfo, Ivan Caminiti - Colline, Vittorio Ferlan Dellorco - Schaunard

Since opera is so demanding vocally, there are two people assigned to each role. Here are some more incredible performers that are an integral part of the project.

Silvia Susan Rosato Franchini playing Mimì and Joseph Dahdah playing Rodolfo

In this slideshow we have 1. Umberto Cipolla at the piano, 2. Annamaria and Martin Kurek in Act II, 3. Act I and 4. Act IV of La Bohème.

Annamaria Borelli as Musetta

Victoria Merkulyeva at the piano

Matteo Torcaso as Marcello

Click on the play button to view the trailer.

Check out the cast on TG3 (Italian news) performances at the Teatro Vittoria January 4-January 16 2022. (see link below for ticket info and details).

Cast of characters: This is a remarkable cast from all over the world. Czech Republic, Slovakia, United States of America, Lebanon, and from all over Italy; Sicily, Lazio, Molise, Calabria, and of course la Puglia!

Flavia Colagioia - Silvia Susan Rosato Franchini - Mimì

Joseph Dahdah - Alessandro Fiocchetti - Rodolfo

Annamaria Borelli - Giorgia Costantino - Musetta

Vladimir Jindra - Matteo Torcaso Marcello

Ivan Caminiti - Colline

Vittorio Ferlan Dellorco - Schaunard

Martin Kurek - Benoit/Alcindoro

A dream has come true for many of us. There is nothing like being center stage. No thrill more electric, and no passion more vibrant. Under the musical direction of the renowned soprano Amelia Felle, and the innovative direction of Giancarlo Nicoletti, production by Altra Scena we have produced something magical. Behind every great artist there are about twenty people behind the scenes making it all happen. Umberto Cipolla e Victoria Merkulyeva are the magnificent musicians at the pianoforte. Alessandro Chiti’s sets create that Bohemian atmosphere perfectly, along with LT Costruzioni that make his ideas a reality. The costumes created by Vincenzo Napolitano, inspired by the 1950’s era, add that special touch. Not to mention the lighting crew whose lights bring the opera to life. A special shout-out goes to the stage manager Alex Angelini who assists the cast backstage to make sure everything goes smoothly. An amazing feet of teamwork of which I am pleased to participate in. A dream come true. The little Annamaria who sang on her deck is bursting with joy, and the adult Annamaria is just ready to take center stage. This is our La Bohème.

soprano Amelia Felle

La Bohème will run from January 4-16 at Teatro Vittoria in Rome, Italy. Please click on this link for ticket information, times, and calendar.


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