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With one of Puccini’s greatest masterpieces, Clonter presents the history of a love affair, from the first tentative encounter to its devastating end. As a young poet and dress-maker fall for each other, romantic idealism is confronted by the reality of poverty, and the lives of a small group of friends are transformed forever.

Production set in the mid-20th Century and sung in Italian with English surtitles, and orchestra.



Rodolfo – Bechara Moufarrej

Born in Lebanon Bechara Moufarrej is one of the few singers to pursue an operatic career outside the country. Following his Master’s degree in Music he undertook further study in Italy and then joined the opera studio in his native Beirut. During his training he has benefitted from masterclasses with Maestra Michaella Mingheras in France, Simone Alaimo in Palermo, Maestra Sylvana Ferraro in Rome and lately with Vittorio Terranova. Bechara has collaborated with the Lebanese Orchestra, the Filarmonica Romana and the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana under the baton of conductors P. Toufic Maatouk, Lubnan Baalbaki, Harout Fazilian, Alberto Maniaci and Nicola Pascovski. His most recent appearances include opera houses and festivals in Qatar, Dubai, Canada, Italy as well as the Opera de Paris. Bechara has sung Don Jose Carmen at the Cirque d’Hiver in Paris, Rodolfo La Boheme with the Qatar Philharmonic/ Mark Shanahan as well as Ferrando Cosi fan tutte and Conte d’Almaviva Il Barbiere di Siviglia in a collaboration between the Antonine University in Beirut, the Lebanese Conservatory and the Al Bustan Festival. He has since sung Almaviva at the Teatro Giulio di Lucca, Teatro Goldoni, Livorno, Teatro Verdi in Pisa and Teatro Coccia in Novara under the baton of Nicola Pascovski in the staging by Alessio Pizzech. Concert performances include Rossini Stabat Mater and Petite Messe Solennelle, Mozart’s Requiem and Masses, Verdi Requiem. Messa di Gloria Puccini, Messa di Requiem, Donizetti, Messa di gloria Rossini. His 2017-2018 engagements include concert performances of Alfredo La Traviata. Il Duca Rigoletto in Cairo and Rodolfo La Bohème for Clonter Opera in the UK.


Mimi –  Mirjam Mesak

Estonian soprano Mirjam Mesak was born in 1990 in Tallinn and graduated in 2006 from The Music School of Tallinn, playing the piano under the tutelage of Heli Taar. She received her Bachelors’ degree in voice from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama with a First Class Honours in 2016 and is now continuing her studies on the Guildhall Artist Masters Programme, under the tutelage of Prof. Rudolf Piernay. At Guildhall, Mirjam has worked with the finest singers and coaches including Graham Johnson, Sarah Walker, Eugene Asti, Julius Drake, Stephan Loges. Mirjam has performed as a soloist in several of London’s renowned concert halls such as the Barbican Hall, Milton Court Concert Hall (including as part of the LSO’s This is Rattle festival), and Wigmore Hall. Earlier this year she was chosen as a semi-finalist in the Glyndebourne Opera Cup. For the season 2018/19, Mirjam will be a member of the Opera Studio at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich. Mirjam is generously supported by the Help Musicians Fund, Estonian Students Fund in USA and the Guildhall School Trust.


Marcello – Alexey Gusev

Russian baritone Alexey Gusev graduated from the Rostov State Conservatoire with a degree in Master of Voice, Opera and Concert Singing. Subsequent recognition as an outstanding young talent led to an offer to join the Rostov State Opera and Ballet Theatre as principal baritone, a position he held for seven years, singing all major baritone roles in Rostov Theatre’s repertoire. Alexey subsequently joined the Astrakhan State Theatre of Opera & Ballet before moving to the West to take up a scholarship for an MM (Opera) degree at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. For his debut in Scotland Alexey made a great impact as Napoleon and Andrey Bolkonsky in Prokofiev’s War & Peace, a co-production of the RSAMD in collaboration with Scottish Opera. Richard Morrison in The Times commented: “In this show, Napoleon wins the singing prize, if not the war –a superbly mature performance by a young Russian baritone, Alexey Gusev.” Alexey is a winner of the Clonter Opera Prize 2017, winner of the Tania and Tonia Webster Prize for Russian Song, 2nd Prize in The International Rakhmaninov competition for Opera singers and Diploma in The All-Russian Opera Competition in Moscow.  Alexey is a Samling Artist.His roles include: Papageno – Die Zauberflote, Count Almaviva – Le nozze di Figaro, Robert – Iolanta (Tchaikovsky), Prince Yeletsky – The Queen of Spades, Ragiami – Die Bajadere (Kalman), Valentine – Faust, Morales – Carmen, Semka – The Country Wives Revolt (Ptichkin), Composer – Russian Roulette (A. Khevelev), Bronza – Rothchild’s Violin (Fleishman), Stenio – Maddalena (Prokofiev), Prince Andrei Bolkonsky and Napoleon – War & Peace, Grigory Stepanovitch Smirnov – The Bear (Walton), Orpheus – Les Malheurs d’Orphée ( Milhaud), Young Man – Semyon Kotko (Prokofiev)


Musetta – Erika Baikoff

Erika Baikoff began her vocal studies at LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts in New York, while privately studying with Lorraine Nubar. In recent years, she was awarded The Paul Hamburger Prize at the Guildhall School of Music and the Bouchaine Young Artist Scholarship. She has also participated in workshops with British Youth Opera, Chautauqua Institute and Songfest as a Schubert Fellow, where she was featured in masterclasses with Margo Garret, Graham Johnson, Martin Katz and Ann Murray. Ms. Baikoff received her AB from Princeton University in French studies and her MMus from the Guildhall School of Music, under the tutelage of Prof. Piernay.


Schaunard – Jolyon Loy

Born in the West Midlands, Jolyon Loy will make his debut at Wexford Festival Opera this season as Sonora in Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West, and at the Dartington International Festival as Christian Weiss in James Runcie’s The Great Passion. A Britten-Pears Young Artist, Jolyon recently sang in Aldeburgh as Valens in Handel’s Theodora, conducted by Christian Curnyn and coached/directed by Dame Sarah Connolly. Previous operatic work includes Aeneas / Dido & Aeneas; Polyphemus / Acis & Galatea; and Giove / La Calisto for Ensemble OrQuesta; Osman/Huascar / Les Indes Galantes for Benslow Music; Count Almaviva / Le nozze di Figaro with the Berlin Opera Academy, where Jolyon was a recipient of the Zenaida Nevsky Memorial Prize; Papageno / The Magic Flute for Hampstead Garden Opera; Marquis d’Obigny / La Traviata for Opera Lyrica; Thésée / Hippolyte et Aricie for Woodhouse Opera; Ronald / The Life to Come, a world premiere with music by Louis Mander and libretto by Stephen Fry for Surrey Opera; and Bobinot / The Storm, composed for Helios Collective in conjunction with ENO. www.jolyonloy.com


Colline – Connor Baiano

Connor Baiano is a Bass studying for his MA with Mark Wildman and Ingrid Surgenor at the Royal Academy of Music, and is a recipient of the Colin Murray Scholarship. As a soloist, he has sung in a variety of concerts and competitions in Manchester, London and Bath, winning multiple prizes in the Mid-Somerset Festival in 2016 and 2017, and further scholarships to study at St John’s College – Cardiff, Prior Park College – Bath, and the Royal Northern College of Music. Along with vast choral and chorus experience, including work at St David’s Hall in Cardiff, Manchester Opera House, and working with the BBC numerous times, Connor has covered the role of Sarastro at Longborough Festival Opera (2017), and performed both the roles of Truffaldin and Lakai in Berlin Opera Academy’s production of ‘Ariadne auf Naxos’ (2017).


Benoit/Alcindoro – Pedro Ometto

Brazilian bass-baritone Pedro Ometto is studying at the Alexander Gibson Opera School at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland under the tutelage of Julian Tovey. He is a grateful recipient of a scholarship from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Trust. He has performed at most of the important Brazilian venues, including the Theatro Municipal de São Paulo, Teatro Castro Alves, Palácio das Artes and the Sala São Paulo. Operatic roles include: Frank Maurrant (Street Scene), Phoebus (The Day After), The Loudspeaker (The Emperor of Atlantis), Angelotti (Tosca), Lord Chancellor (Iolanthe), Petrus (Der Mond), Mamma Agata (Viva la mamma), Lord Hate-Good (The Pilgrim’s Progress), Don Bartolo (Il barbiere di Siviglia), Plutone (Il ballo delle ingrate) and Don Fernando (Fidelio). Concert work includes: Haydn’s Nelson Mass, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and Hunting Cantata, Mozart’s Requiem and Cavalieri’s Rappresentatione di Anima et di Corpo. Forthcoming roles include Father Trulove (The Rake’s Progress) with British Youth Opera in 2018.



Director – Harry Fehr



Designer – Grace Venning



Conductor – Clive Timms


Orchestra – Clonter Sinfonia


Opera Novice Night

Wed 18th July
Never been to an opera? Why not come to our Opera Novice Night for La Boheme public dress rehearsal, which includes a pre-performance talk, given by the director.

Tickets £15, Students £10, Children (Under 16) £5

Doors Open & Costume Workshop 5.30pm

Director’s Talk 6.30pm

Performance Starts 7pm

Interval 30 minutes; The audience is welcome to bring a pre-performance picnic





Fri 20 July

Tickets £32, £50, £55, £60, Students £10, Children (Under 16) £8

Early Bird Ticket (20% Disc) available until 28th April

Doors Open 6pm

Director’s Talk 6.30pm

Performance Starts 7pm

Interval 70 minute supper interval*


Sun 22 July (Mat)

Tickets£19, £29, £34, £39, Students £10, Children (Under 16) £8

Early Bird Ticket (20% Disc) available until 28th April

Doors Open 2pm

Performance Starts 3pm

Interval 30 minute interval;

post-performance tea, avaialble to pre-order, or bring your own picnic


Tues 24 July

Tickets £24, £39, £44, £50, Students £10, Children (Under 16) £8

Early Bird Ticket (20% Disc) available until 28th April

Doors Open 6pm

Performance Starts 7.30pm

Interval 30 minute interval*


Thurs 26 July

Tickets £32, £50, £55, £60, Students £10, Children (Under 16) £8

Early Bird Ticket (20% Disc) available until 28th April

Doors Open 6pm

Performance Starts 7pm

Interval 70 minute supper interval*


Sat 28 July

Tickets £34, £60, £65, £70, Students £10, Children (Under 16) £8

Early Bird Ticket (20% Disc) available until 28th April

Doors Open 6pm

Performance Starts 7pm

Interval 70 minute supper interval*


*70 minute supper interval; pre-order supper, hamper or canapé baskets, or bring your own picnic

*30 minute interval; pre-order pre-performance supper, hamper or canapé baskets, or bring your own picnic

Book Now Event Menu Friday 20th July

Book Now Event Menu Sunday 22nd July (Mat)

Book Now Event Menu Tuesday 24th July

Book Now Event Menu Thursday 26th July

Book Now Event Menu Saturday 28th July