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Have you ever wondered what happens behind the scenes in an opera production? Weeks of musical and staging rehearsals ensure that everything that happens on opening night goes off without a hitch.
Opening September 28, 2012, the Opera Company of Philadelphia will present a new, state-of-the-art production of La bohème, Giacomo Puccini’s immortal love story of young lovers in Paris in the late 1800s. Behind the Scenes of La bohème highlights up-and-coming baritone Craig Vern, who stars in the production as Schaunard, who will share details about the production, the rehearsal process, and the journey of his career in opera.
Mr. Verm will be singing the role of the Schaunard in the Opera Company’s production of Puccini’s La bohème. In order to have a better understanding of his role in the opera, students should have a grasp of La bohème’s plot by reading through the plot synopsis that will be provided by the Opera Company of Philadelphia. A downloadable student guide to the opera will also be available. Students should review Mr.Verm’s biography and come prepared with questions about singing, vocal technique, opera, his career, what he does in his spare time, and his role in La bohème.
The Opera Company provides a student workbook and an ancillary teacher workbook as part of its Sounds of Learning™ program. Materials will be available for download at http://www.operaphila.org/learn and will be available via mail on request by emailing email@example.com
Having one student assigned to represent the school in the initial introduction works best. Also, students who have prepared questions should sit close to the microphone to ensure their questions can be heard by the facilitator and/or other participants.
Craig Verm is rapidly gaining recognition for his “resonant, expressive baritone voice” (Denver Post) and riveting dramatic portrayals. In the 2011-12 season, he sings his first performances as Escamillo in Carmen at the Teatro Municipal de Santiago and Zurga in Les pêcheur de perles in a return to the Pittsburgh Opera. He also returns to the role of Ping in Turandot with Austin Lyric Opera, in addition to singing Sciarrone in Tosca, and presenting a recital at the Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse. On the concert stage, he sings Handel’s Messiah with the Rhode Island Philharmonic and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 as a guest artist at Brown University.
Mr. Verm enjoys a strong relationship with Pittsburgh Opera, where he has sung the lead baritone role of Tom Joad in Gordon’s The Grapes of Wrath, Mercutio in Roméo et Juliette, Junius in The Rape of Lucretia, the Novice’s Friend in Billy Budd, Angelotti in Tosca as well as Guglielmo in student performances of Così fan tutte. Other recent performances include Marcello in La bohème with Austin Lyric Opera, Papageno in Die Zauberflöte with Florentine Opera, Sharpless in Madama Butterfly at Lyrique-en-Mer/Festival de Belle-Île, Joseph Pitt in Peter Eötvös’ Angels in America with Fort Worth Opera, Astolfo in the world premiere of Lewis Spratlan’s Life is a Dream and Hermann in Les contes d’Hofmann with Santa Fe Opera, the Count in Le nozze di Figaro and Falke in Die Fledermaus with the Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, and Guglielmo in Così fan tutte and the Forester in The Cunning Little Vixen.
Equally adept within the realm of oratorio, his other concert appearances include performances of Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Christmas Carols with the Pittsburgh Symphony; Vaughan Williams’ Five Mystical Songs with the Asheville Symphony Orchestra; Orff’s Carmina Burana with the Alexandria Symphony, Haydn’s Lord Nelson Mass with the Boston Youth Symphony; Bach’s Mass in B minor at Portugal’s Aviero Music Festival; as well as Faure’s Requiem with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony, and Schubert’s Mass in G, and Rutter’s Mass of the Children with the Pittsburgh Concert Chorale. He has also sung Haydn’s Creation with the Robert Page Festival Singers at the Virginia Arts Festival as well as on tour in Vienna and Budapest.
Mr. Verm graduated cum laude from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music and received his Master of Music from the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music where his performances included the title role in Carlisle Floyd’s Markheim. He also was a 2006 national semifinalist in the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and is also a former member of the young artist programs of Santa Fe Opera and Cincinnati Opera.