San Diego Symphony’s Payare steps in to conduct “La Bohème”

Posted on: October 9, 2020

“With less than three weeks to go before San Diego Opera’s drive-in production of Puccini’s ‘La bohème’ opens in a sports arena parking lot, the company announced a casting change and new conductor today,” writes Pam Kragen in Tuesday’s (10/6) San Diego Union-Tribune. “Soprano Ana María Martínez will step into the lead role of Mimi to replace singer Angel Blue, who is unable to perform. And San Diego Symphony music director Rafael Payare will conduct the opera’s 24-member orchestra of San Diego Symphony musicians. Payare replaces the previously announced Italian conductor Valerio Galli, who couldn’t come to San Diego due to travel restrictions related to COVID-19…. With the new additions to the artistic team, this ‘La bohème’ will have a distinctively Latin flavor. Martínez was born in Puerto Rico, [tenor Joshua] Guerrero is Mexican-American, and Payare is from Venezuela…. Payare is best known for his symphonic conducting work, but he has extensive experience in the opera world. He made his debut at England’s Glyndebourne Festival in 2019 conducting Rossini’s ‘The Barber of Seville’ [and] has conducted [at] Royal Swedish Opera and [Sweden’s] Malmo Opera…. Tickets … will be sold by the carload … for as many people as there are seat belts per vehicle.”