Before Baz or Broadway there was the "Ballarat" Boheme! Brilliant casting of virtually unknown young artists lead circuitously to the highest selling opera DVD in the USA for many years.and a run on Broadway..but it all started with the VSO Country tour in 1987 of La Boheme with David Hobson, Cheryl Barker, Roger Lemke and Christine Douglas . Hugh Halliday directed and Brian Stacey and Warwick Stengards conducted.I saw that touring production in Geelong and Warragul I think- wept buckets and said if these are the not the opera stars of the future I am in the wrong business. Moffatt Oxenbould seemed to agree and moved the central cast holus bolus to Sydney ( keeping the name “Baby boheme” coined by Brain Stacey)-hired ex NIDA student designer Catherine Martin and hubby -quirky film director Baz Luhrmann to restage Boheme in 1950s Paris. The video of the 1990 cast hit top place and stills sells well around the world with these charismatic performers. Early in the 2000s Baz restaged the production as a Broadway show in new York with multiple casts but never quite rediscovered the magic these singers infused into the world’s most popular opera. .

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