Bohème Project

Following the 2023-24 season’s traditional production of Puccini’s La bohème, in September the Atlanta Opera Discoveries series continues the “Bohème Project” with two immersive productions at Pullman Yards. Produced by Tomer Zvulun with Ukranian-Israeli American designer, director, and multimedia artist Vita Tzykun, the Discoveries series “Bohème Project” comprises repertory performances of a modern-day La bohème–with the COVID-19 pandemic in place of tuberculosis—with the Broadway show it inspired, Jonathan Larson’s Rent, which updated Puccini’s story of friendship, passion, and art by setting it in the midst of the 1990’s HIV/AIDS crisis. Both performed on the same set, with the action taking place in and around the seated audience, the productions will feature different casts and musical forces and will alternate nights for most of the run.

Three Pandemics. Three Centuries. One Story.

Bohème Project @ Pullman Yards

The Discoveries Series Sponsored by
The Molly Blank Fund of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation

The Discoveries Series also supported by
The Livingston Foundation

Banner_BohemeRENT_2425

La bohème

Composer
Giacomo Puccini

Librettist
Luigi Illica & Giuseppe Giacosa

Based on Scènes de la vie de bohème (Scenes of the bohemian life)
Henri Murger

Premiere Performance
February 1, 1896
Teatro Regio, Turin

Rent

Book, Music, and Lyrics
Jonathan Larson

Additional Lyrics
Billy Aronson

Based on La bohème
Giacomo Puccini

Premiere Performance
January 25, 1996
New York Theatre Workshop

Broadway Premiere
April 29, 1996
Nederlander Theatre, New York

RENT is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.mtishows.com

Following the 2023-24 season’s traditional production of Puccini’s La bohème, in September the Atlanta Opera Discoveries series continues the “Bohème Project” with two immersive productions at Pullman Yards. Produced by Tomer Zvulun with Ukranian-Israeli American designer, director, and multimedia artist Vita Tzykun, the Discoveries series “Bohème Project” comprises repertory performances of a modern-day La bohème–with the COVID-19 pandemic in place of tuberculosis—with the Broadway show it inspired, Jonathan Larson’s Rent, which updated Puccini’s story of friendship, passion, and art by setting it in the midst of the 1990’s HIV/AIDS crisis. Both performed on the same set, with the action taking place in and around the seated audience, the productions will feature different casts and musical forces and will alternate nights for most of the run.

Three Pandemics. Three Centuries. One Story.

The Bohème Project @ Pullman Yards

RENT is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. www.mtishows.com

La bohème

Composer
Giacomo Puccini

Librettist
Luigi Illica & Giuseppe Giacosa

Based on Scènes de la vie de bohème (Scenes of the bohemian life)
Henri Murger

Premiere Performance
February 1, 1896
Teatro Regio, Turin

Rent

Composer & Lyricist/Librettist
Jonathan Larson
Additional Lyrics
Billy Aronson

Based on La bohème
Giacomo Puccini

Premiere Performance
January 25, 1996
New York Theatre Workshop

Broadway Premiere
April 29, 1996
Nederlander Theatre, New York

Conductor

James Lowe

Grammy nominated conductor, arranger, orchestrator and composer James Lowe continues to garner praise for “beautifully sculpted” (Opera News) performances. He appears regularly with major opera houses in the US and abroad, as well as on Broadway. He will conduct the upcoming world premiere of Ricky Ian Gordon and Michael Korie’s The Garden of the Finzi-Continis with New York City Opera at the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, and will lead Arizona Opera’s production of El Milagro del Recuerdo. This past summer he arranged, orchestrated and conducted Songbird, a new adaptation of Offenbach’s La Périchole in the style of 1920’s New Orleans jazz for the Glimmerglass Festival. In recent seasons he has appeared at Lyric Opera of Chicago, San Francisco Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Washington National Opera, the Théâtre du Capitole in Toulouse and Opéra National de Bordeaux.

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Mr. Lowe has had a long relationship with Houston Grand Opera, where he has led La bohéme, Carmen, Le nozze di Figaro, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Sweeney Todd, Jake Heggie’s The End of the Affair (world premiere production), as well as the HGO Studio production of Copland’s The Tender Land. At HGO he also conducted the world premiere production of Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince. He led Jonathan Dove’s Flight at the Pittsburgh Opera Center, as well as Mark Adamo’s Little Women at Lyric Opera Cleveland in a production directed by the composer. He conducts regularly at Utah Opera, and has appeared with the Houston Symphony, Memphis Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, Wolf Trap Opera, and the American Composers Orchestra, as well as The Nutcracker with the Houston Ballet.

On Broadway, James Lowe was the Music Director and Conductor of the recent revival of Les Misérables, as well as the Tony Award-winning revival of Cole Porter’s Anything Goes, starring Sutton Foster and Joel Grey. He also served as the Music Supervisor for the First National Tour of this production. Mr. Lowe made his Broadway debut conducting performances of Gypsy, starring Patti LuPone.

Mr. Lowe was nominated for a Grammy Award for his work on the Anything Goes cast album released on Ghostlight Records, which he conducted and co-produced. With members of the cast he has appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman, the CBS Early Show and A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor. He toured North America as Music Director and Conductor of the acclaimed Cameron Mackintosh/National Theatre production of My Fair Lady, and conducted the First National Tour of Adam Guettel’s The Light in the Piazza. He served as US Music Supervisor of the recent North American Tour of The Phantom of the Opera.

Mr. Lowe has appeared in concert with Sir Elton John, conducting his own orchestrations and choral arrangements of Elton’s classic songs, as well as with singer-songwriter Randy Newman and the legendary Booker T. Jones. His arrangements have been performed by Joyce DiDonato (Lincoln Center and Wigmore Hall), Isabel Leonard, Ailyn Pérez and Nadine Sierra (Metropolitan Opera’s “Three Divas at Versailles” concert), Glimmerglass Festival and Utah Opera, among others. His opera, Poppea, a new work based on themes of Monteverdi reimagined with electric guitars and industrial electronics will premiere at Fort Worth Opera in 2021 (postponed due to covid).

As Associate Conductor at Houston Grand Opera for several seasons he served as cover conductor, principal pianist and coach on many productions, including the world premiere of Mark Adamo’s Lysistrata. Mr. Lowe assisted on the world premieres of Carlisle Floyd’s Cold Sassy Tree and Tod Machover’s Resurrection, playing keyboards on the recordings of those operas. He can also be heard as keyboardist on HGO’s popular recording of Adamo’s Little Women. He has been on the music staff of New York City Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Virginia Opera and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria, and served as Resident Conductor and Chorus Master at the Ash Lawn Opera Festival. He has been the Music Director of the Butler Opera Center at the University of Texas, and he appeared onstage as the Tavern Pianist in Santa Fe Opera’s 2001 production of Wozzeck.

Mr. Lowe has played in several rock, jazz, blues and country bands. He was the keyboardist, rhythm guitarist, lead singer and songwriter for the rock band Backwash for five years, recording and touring the Eastern United States. He co-produced the band’s compact disc, Goin’ to the Mall, released in 1995 on Transit Records.

As a pianist, Mr. Lowe performed as soloist with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and has given recitals, including several world premieres, at such venues as the Aspen Music Festival, the Chautauqua Institute, the University of Texas San Antonio New Music Festival, and the University of Colorado Artsweek Festival in Boulder. He taught Keyboard Literature and piano at Syracuse University, and he served on the piano and musical theater faculty at the Hochstein Music School in Rochester. He holds degrees from the Eastman School of Music and the University of Michigan, with additional studies at the Aspen Music School and the Aspen Opera Theater Center.

Co-Director

Tomer Zvulun

General and Artistic Director of The Atlanta Opera since 2013, Israeli born Tomer Zvulun is also one of opera’s most exciting stage directors, earning consistent praise for his creative vision, often described as cinematic and fresh.  His work has been presented by prestigious opera houses around the world, including The Metropolitan Opera, the opera companies of Israel, Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, Montreal, Wexford, Glimmerglass, Houston, Washington National Opera, Seattle, Dallas, Detroit, San Diego, Minnesota, Boston, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, New Orleans and Wolf Trap, as well as leading educational institutes and universities such as The Juilliard School, Indiana University, Boston University, and IVAI in Tel Aviv.   

Since taking the leadership in Atlanta a decade ago, he personally directed thirty of the company’s productions. He increased the operations of the company from three to six productions per season, while stabilizing the financials and in the course of his first decade tenure, secured Atlanta’s position as one of the top 10 opera companies in the US. Some of his noted achievements includes launching the successful Discoveries series, creating the first young artist program in the company’s history, tripling the company’s annual fund raising, launching the company’s first RING cycle, creating The Atlanta Opera Film Studio, and building a theatre in a circus tent where performances were conducted safely during the pandemic. 

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His work at The Atlanta Opera attracted international attention by earning numerous awards and prizes including the nomination of The Atlanta Opera for the International Opera Awards in London and the selection of his production of Silent Night as both the Irish Times and Atlanta Journal-Constitution production of the year. His focus on innovation led to an invitation to deliver a TED talk as well as a case study that is being taught at Harvard Business School. His productions travel the world and bring wide exposure to the company. Next season his productions of  Rigoletto travel to Los Angeles Opera, his La bohème returns to The Dallas Opera, and his acclaimed production of The (R)evolution of Steve Jobs will make its Kennedy Center debut at the Washington National Opera.  

Headshot_Tomer2022

Co-Director

Vita Tzykun

Ukrainian-Israeli-American designer, director, and multimedia artist, Vita Tzykun has designed and directed productions for companies worldwide, including Lyric Opera of Chicago, The Bolshoi Theatre, Norwegian Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Houston Grand Opera, Seattle Opera, and Tel Aviv Museum of Art. A proponent of new works, she has designed over a dozen world premieres to date. Film and tv credits include art direction for Lady Gaga, and production design for several award-winning films, music videos, and nationally-aired tv ads.

Vita’s interdisciplinary art collective, GLMMR, presents stage and multimedia works throughout the world, and was recently awarded the Granada Artist Residency at University of California, Davis, where she and performer/media artist David Adam Moore created a new large-scale immersive theater installation, REFUGE, in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Known widely for her work in education and leadership, Tzykun serves on the faculty of the National Theater Institute and has lectured at NYU Tisch School of the Arts, Mannes School of Music, and Carnegie Hall’s Weil Institute. Advisory roles include the National Endowment for the Arts, and tech-focused panels for San Diego Opera and Austin Opera.

Tzykun has been featured in Lighting and Sound America magazine, given a solo exhibition at Opera America, and nominated for Designer of the Year by the International Opera Awards.

Her paintings have been exhibited at the Ceres Gallery in NYC and are held in private collections throughout the US, Europe, and Israel.