The NEIU Independent (IL)-April 27, 2010
Author: Dulce Arroyo
Section: Arts & Life
Family, students and staff filled the seats of NEIU’s auditorium for Thursday’s opening of the Italian opera “La Bohème,” a school production directed by Sasha Gerritson and conducted by Michael Melton.
The devoted relationship between Rodolfo (played by Aldo Perrelli) and Mimi (played by Christina Chakos-Kaloyanides) was displayed throughout the opera as the actors sang dearly to one another, prompting audience members to applaud after each song. Perrelli was very much into his character of Rodolfo, who tried his best to lovingly take care of the timid Mimi. Chakos-Kaloyanides also tapped into her character’s fragility, looking weaker and weaker as their love died and her illness worsened.
Rodolfo and Mimi may have been “La Bohème’s” main lovers, but the hilariously dysfunctional couple Marcello and Musetta, played by a lively Wellington Da Silva and Rose Guccione, instantly became some of the crowd’s favorites. Da Silva and Guccione kept the audience laughing by providing comic relief with their constant outbursts against each other of fighting and breaking up, and then kissing and making up, pretty much like a verse from Katy Perry’s song “Hot’N’Cold.”
The chemistry among Rodolfo and Marcello’s friends Schaunard (played by Alex Makkawy) and Colline (David McCoul) seemed authentic. While on-stage together, the leads created a genuinely dynamic atmosphere that made it easy to understand the men’s friendships, as if the actors had known each other for a very long time.
It was clear that the ensemble members had a great time performing, and costumes and props were great final touches to the singing and acting of each member. The constant activity during Act II made it hard to focus on just one thing, because so much was going on among each actor, but that was the beauty of it.
The children who participated in the performance were just as professional as the adults; the opera would just not have been complete without the young choir members singing wonderfully in Italian.
Orchestra members also did a marvelous job playing Puccini’s famous score. All participants of “La Bohème” had clearly dedicated themselves to their roles for the past three months in order to help the opening be a success. The combination of instruments, acting and singing came out beautifully, making NEIU’s production of “La Bohème” one that encompassed hard work, cooperation and talent.
Note: There were two separate casts of leads (Rodolfo, Mimi, Musetta) for La Bohème. Our review is from the Aldo Perrelli, Christina Chakos-Kaloyanides and Rose Guccione cast while our photos are from the Anthony Seeman, Mary Lutz Govertsen and Theresa Egan cast.