Assistant Director/Production Coordinator
La bohème was the first mainstage professional production of my career and brought new sorts of challenges that I learned to manage in real time. As the production manager, I learned about the contract process of securing artists for a production that I had not experienced yet. There was also an added layer of complexity as we rented a costume package from another opera company and parts from an orchestration distributor, and I truly gained a sense of appreciation for the equal importance of pre-production and production work.
I was the assistant to Benjamin Smith, who could not have been more gracious as a director and mentor. He allowed me to provide my input at the table and was there to stabilize the production at all points. It was also a pleasure to work with Lucy Coarsey, who I knew from Florida State, and see how confident and unflappable she was throughout the process.
According to many audience and board members, the cast was perfect together. When we first began rehearsals for Act I, I could tell that our main quartet of gentlemen (Gregory Turay, Daniel Narducci, Andrew Potter, and Michael Colman) had instant chemistry and camaraderie. To the best of my knowledge, no one had prolonged experience with one another as performers, but they made it seem like they had known each other for years. David Starkey assembled a great cast of singers, and Benjamin Smith and conductor Craig Kier directed them through a successful series of performances at the Tarkington.
Even though it was a lot of work to put this show on so early in our season and my short time with the company at that point, I don’t believe it could have gone much better. It was a combination of a beautiful opera, good casting and direction, and proper execution that made this experience so memorable and impacting.
La bohème Production & Performance Credits
Produced by: David Starkey and the Indianapolis Opera
Director: Benjamin Smith
Assistant Director: Matt Cooksey
Conductor: Craig Kier
Assistant Conductor: Chris Albanese
Chorus Master: John Schmid
Scenic Designer: Kyra Sanford
Lighting Designer: Quinten James
Costumes by Opera Memphis
Technical Director: Troy Trinkle
Stage Manager: Philip Christiansen
Assistant Stage Manager: Lucy Coarsey
Mimi: Cristina Bakhoum Sanchez
Rodolfo: Gregory Turay
Musetta: Donata Cucinotta
Marcello: Daniel Narducci
Colline: Andrew Potter
Schaunard: Michael Colman
Benoit/Alcindoro: David Malis
Parpignol: Kevin Adamik