High up in a Parisian loft, a candle blows out.
As two strangers fumble in the dark,
the spark of love is unexpectedly ignited.

Performed in Italian with projected English translations.

Seats available now for Friday, February 10, 2017 at 7:30 pm

Seats available now for Sunday, February 12, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Performed at the Magnificent Tennessee Theatre

Opera preview hosted by Maestro Salesky begins 45 minutes prior to each performance
All students are invited to take photos with the cast on the set after the final curtain.


In the glittering Latin Quarter on Christmas Eve, Mimì and Rodolfo fall in love, but her failing health and his abject poverty threaten their happiness. Puccini’s ravishing music brilliantly depicts the joie de vivre and heartbreaks of the struggling Bohemian artists.

Meet the Director


Brian Deedrick (Stage Director)

Sponsored thanks to the generosity of William Ross McNabb

Knoxville Opera is delighted to welcome back international stage director BRIAN DEEDRICK following his very successful Knoxville productions of Die Fledermaus, The Elixir of Love, Mefistofele, and our first production this season, The Pirates of Penzance. As a freelance opera and theatre director, his work takes him all over Canada and the United States, with occasional forays as far afield as Casalmaggiore, Italy and Tel Aviv. During his years as Artistic Director of Edmonton Opera, some of his favorite productions there include Fidelio, Otello, Julius Caesar, Falstaff, Weill in Weimar, The Emperor of Atlantis, The Abduction from the Seraglio and South Pacific. Selected freelance opera credits have included Turandot and Aïda for Fort Worth Opera, Don Giovanni for Austin Lyric Opera, Otello and La Bohème for L’Opéra de Québec, Eugene Onegin and Tosca for Opera Carolina, The Flying Dutchman for Baltimore Opera, L’Elisir d’amore and The Pearl Fishers for Arizona Opera and The Merry Widow and Don Pasquale in Honolulu. Mr. Deedrick’s most recent projects have included La Bohème in Winnipeg, Manitoba and Candide in Edmonton. Upcoming productions include Turandot for Calgary Opera, and Maria Stuarda here in Knoxville. When not directing, the Canadian native works as a city tour guide in Berlin, Germany!

Meet the Cast


Jessica Rose Cambio (Mim­ì)

Sponsored thanks to the generosity of Dr. Sharon Lord

Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island
Foreign Opera Companies: Royal Albert Hall (London), Dresden Semperoper, Opera På Skäret (Sweden), Accademia di Santa Cecilia (Rome), Teatro Sociale di Como, Teatro Fraschini di Pavia, Teatro Ponchielli di Cremona, Teatro Grande di Brescia, Teatro Filarmonico di Verona, Teatro della Fortuna di Fano, Teatro Verdi di Busseto, Teatro Nuovo di Milano, Piccolo Teatro di Milano, Teatro Carani di Sassuolo, Teatro Bonci di Cesena, Teatro Comunale di Modena, Macedonian Opera, West Green House Opera (London), New Israeli Opera, Teatro Gayarre Pamplona (Spain)
Foreign Orchestras and Festivals: London Concert Orchestra, Israeli Philharmonic, Istanbul Philharmonic, Albanian National Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica di Torino, Duomo di Modena, Circolo Culturale Lirico (Bologna), Saint Petersburg Philharmonic (Russia), Swedish Chamber Orchestra, The German Church (Helsinki), Galina Vishnevskaya Opera Center (Moscow), Orchestra Fondazione Arturo Toscanini (Parma), Fondazione Arena di Verona, Fondazione Luciano Pavarotti (Italy and China), Auditorium di Milano Orchestra La Verdi, Auditorio de Zaragoza (Spain), Palace of the Forbidden City (China); Orchestra Puccini Festival (Torre del Lago), Bangkok International Music Festival, International Vocal Arts Institute (Tel Aviv)
U.S. Opera Companies: John F. Kennedy Center, Dallas Opera, Sarasota Opera, New Jersey Association of Verismo Opera, Opera Providence, Academy of Vocal Arts (Philadelphia), Mannes Opera (NY), Gotham Chamber Opera, Opera at Florham (NJ)
U.S. Orchestras and Festivals: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Opera Orchestra of New York; Pine Mountain Music Festival (MI), Aspen Music Festival, Rhode Island Civic Chorale and Orchestra
Website: www.JessicaRoseCambio.com


Richard Troxell (Rodolfo)

Sponsored thanks to the generosity of The Sood Family

Birthplace: Thurmont, Maryland
Foreign Opera Companies: National Center for Performing arts (Beijing), Opera Australia, Landscape Opera (New Zealand), Opera Narodowa (Warsaw),
Teatro de la Maestranza (Seville), Teatro del Lago (Chile), Theater Basel (Switzerland), L’ Opéra de Monte Carlo, Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, Théâtre de Caen, Opéra Comique de Paris, Opéra de Montpellier, Théâtre des Arts (Rouen), Vancouver Opera, Opéra de Montréal, Calgary Opera, Hamilton Opera (Ontario), Opera Lyra (Ottawa), New Israeli Opera
Foreign Festivals: Festival Lyrique de Belle-Île en Mer (France), St. Barts Music Festival
U.S. Opera Companies: Knoxville Opera (The Barber of Seville), Metropolitan Opera,
Washington National Opera, Los Angeles Opera, Houston Grand Opera,
San Diego Opera, Opera Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Opera, New York City Opera, Minnesota Opera, New Orleans Opera, Virginia Opera, Portland Opera, Palm Beach Opera, Nashville Opera, Dayton Opera, Boston Lyric Opera, Cleveland Opera, San Antonio Opera, Opera Colorado, Cleveland Opera, Madison Opera, Opera Pacific, Arizona Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Opera Carolina, Central City Opera, Opera Roanoke, Kentucky Opera, Toledo Opera, Mississippi Opera, Opera Saratoga, Greater Buffalo Opera, Florida Opera
U.S. Orchestras and Festivals: Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony, American Symphony, Detroit Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Cincinnati Pops, Colorado Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic, Lancaster Symphony, Greater Spartanburg Philharmonic, Flint Symphony, Naples Symphony, Madison Symphony, Lubbock Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Ocean City Pops; Spoleto Festival USA, Aspen Music Festival, Castleton Festival
Opera DVDs: Madama Butterfly, La Rondine, Cyrano de Bergerac
Website: www.RichardTroxell.tv


Julia Lima (Musetta)

Sponsored thanks to the generosity of Dr. & Mrs. G. Mark Cramolini

Birthplace: Uralsky, Perm Krai, Russia
Foreign Opera: Opera Creativa (Rome)
Foreign Orchestra: Moscow Conservatory Orchestra
U.S. Opera Companies: Knoxville Opera (Die Fledermaus, Mefistofele), New York City Opera Renaissance, Opera Company of Brooklyn (NY), Di Capo Opera Theatre (NY), Baroque Opera Pastiche (MA), New Opera (NY), Orensanz Foundation Center for the Arts (NY), Tilles Center (NY), amore Opera (NY)
U.S. Orchestras and Festivals: Garden State Philharmonic (NJ), Fifth Avenue Chamber Orchestra (FL); North Shore Music Festival (NY), Naples National Art Festival (FL), Mid Atlantic Opera Verdiana Festival (NJ), Water Island Music Festival (Virgin Islands), Bright Future International (IL), Fifth Avenue Chamber Orchestra (FL), Fort Mason Art Center (San Francisco)
Website: www.JuliaLima.org


Craig Verm (Marcello)

Sponsored thanks to the generosity of Alice Torbett

Birthplace: Houston, Texas
Foreign Opera Companies: Teatro Municipal de Santiago (Chile), Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, Nationale Reisopera (Netherlands)
Foreign Festivals: Festival Lyrique de Belle-Île en Mer (France), Ongaku-Juku Festival (Tokyo)
U.S. Opera Companies: Lyric Opera of Chicago, Seattle Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Pittsburgh Opera, Dallas Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Cincinnati Opera, Arizona Opera, Fort Worth Opera, Nashville Opera, Madison Opera, Florentine Opera (Milwaukee), Tulsa Opera, Aspen Opera Theater, Des Moines Metro Opera, Austin Lyric Opera, Ash Lawn Opera, Gotham Chamber Opera (NY)
U.S. Orchestras: Los Angeles Philharmonic, San Francisco Symphony, Rhode Island Philharmonic, Reno Philharmonic, Asheville Symphony
Website: www.CraigVerm.com


Adam Cioffari (Colline)

Sponsored thanks to the generosity of Jerry & Sue Becker

Birthplace: Bowling Green, Ohio
Foreign Opera Companies: Deutsche Oper Berlin, Komische Oper Berlin, Stattstheater Stuttgart, Berlin Opera Group, Théâtre du Capitole de Toulouse, Teatro Municipal de Santiago
U.S. Opera Companies: Houston Grand Opera, Florentine Opera (Milwaukee), Aspen Opera Theater, Opera Columbus, Austin Lyric Opera, Pensacola Opera
U.S. Orchestras and Festivals: Los Angeles Philharmonic, Tucson Symphony, Utah Symphony, Charleston Symphony, Akron Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Arkansas Symphony; Glimmerglass Festival (NY)

Peter Johnson (Schaunard)

Sponsored thanks to the generosity of Dorothy & L. Caesar Stair, III

Birthplace: Saint James, Minnesota
U.S. Opera: Nashville Opera, Knoxville Opera (La Fanciulla del West, H.M.S. Pinafore, Carmen, Tosca), Des Moines Metro Opera, Opera Las Vegas, Nightingale Opera Theatre (OH), Opera on the James, Fargo-Moorhead Opera, Sin City Opera (NV), Opera Fayetteville, University of Tennessee Opera Theatre
U.S. Orchestras and Festivals: Concordia College Orchestra (MN), Brevard Music Center (NC), Pine Mountain Music Festival (MI)

James Eder (Benoit, Alcindoro)

Sponsored thanks to the generosity of Ann & Steve Bailey

Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio
U.S. Opera:Opera Theatre of Pittsburgh, Knoxville Opera (H.M.S. Pinafore), Opera Columbus, Janiec Opera Company, Ohio State Univ. Opera, Univ. of Tennessee Opera Theatre

Plot Synopsis

Act I: A garret in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Christmas Eve, 1830.

The painter Marcello and poet Rodolfo try to keep warm by burning pages from Rodolfo’s latest drama. Their roommates – Colline, a philosopher, and Schaunard, a musician – come home with Schaunard’s wages. While the Bohemians celebrate, their landlord, Benoit, arrives to collect the rent. Plying the man with wine, they throw him out in mock indignation when he confesses to a flirtation. Although his friends are going to a nearby café, Rodolfo remains to finish a newspaper article. Mimì, a neighbor, knocks on his door to have her candle relit. When she nearly faints, Rodolfo revives her and relights her candle. Mimì realizes she has dropped her key, and as the two search for it, both candles go out. The poet opens his heart to her and she recounts her solitary life. Recognizing their case of “love at first sight,” they depart for the café.

ACT II: Café Momus, later that evening.

Mimì and Rodolfo meet his friends outside the café. Parpignol, the toy-vender, passes by with a group of children. Musetta, Marcello’s former lover, enters with her elderly patron, Alcindoro. Musetta tries to seduce Marcello while singing a waltz. Complaining that her shoe is too tight, she sends Alcindoro to buy a new pair, and then runs into Marcello’s arms. Falling in behind a marching band, the Bohemians leave Alcindoro to pay the bill.

ACT III: The Barrière d’Enfer, the following February.

Musetta and revelers are heard inside a tavern. Mimì appears, searching for the place where Marcello and Musetta now work. When the painter emerges, she pours out her distress over Rodolfo’s incessant jealousy. She pretends to leave but hides instead. Rodolfo, who has been asleep in the tavern, tells Marcello he wants to separate from Mimì. Pressed further, he breaks down, confiding that her health is failing, only worsening in the poverty they share. Mimì stumbles forward to bid Rodolfo farewell as Marcello runs back into the tavern to investigate Musetta’s raucous laughter. While Musetta quarrels with Marcello, Mimì and Rodolfo reminisce and decide to stay together until spring.

ACT IV: In the garret, several months later.

Rodolfo and Marcello are again living without their former lovers and lament their loneliness. Colline and Schaunard bring a meager meal. The Bohemians’ frolicking ends abruptly when Musetta bursts in. Rodolfo helps the exhausted Mimì into the garret. Marcello goes with Musetta to sell her earrings for medicine and Colline leaves to pawn his cherished overcoat. Alone, Mimì and Rodolfo recall their first days together, but she is seized with coughing. When the others return, Musetta gives Mimì a muff to warm her hands and prays for her life. Mimì falls asleep. When Rodolfo realizes that Mimì is dead he embraces her lifeless body, crying out her name in anguish.