Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Ben Connor in skivvies for updated La boheme

Andrew Owens (left) and Ben Connor (right)
Australian baritone Ben Connor stripped down to his skivvies for the Kammeroper of Vienna's production of La boheme. This isn't the usual La boheme, as it's the chamber version of the opera by composer Jonathan Dove, with electronic interludes by Sinem Altan. Dove's version reduces the the big Puccini orchestra to just fourteen musicians.

The characters are a cast of bored pseudo-artists set in a penthouse, department store and hospital death chamber. Purists may be shocked by Mimi dying bald behind the glass wall of a hospital. Critics have praised the work for its originality and humor.

Remaining performances are on January 23, 26. and 30, as well as February 1, 10, 15, 17, 21. and 24.

The Australian baritone Ben Connor graduated with a Masters of Music in voice from the Australian National University where he was the recipient of the Harmony Endowment scholarship. After furthering his studies at the Universität für Musik und darstellende kunst in Vienna, he is now a member of the inaugural “Junges Ensemble” at the Theater an der Wien. Ben won the 2010 Aria Competition at the “National Eisteddfod”(Canberra, Australia) and in 2011 was the recipient of the Richard Wagner Stipendium Bayreuth prize from “Klassik Mania”(Vienna).

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