YOUNG ARTISTS IN LOVE: DIRECTOR BRENNA CORNER RETURNS TO CALGARY TO DIRECT PUCCINI’S LA BOHEME

Brenna Corner can relate to the starving, 19th-century Parisian artists at the heart of Giacomo Puccini’s La Boheme.

Soprano Mimi Khalil and Antoine Belanger in La Boheme. Photo by Trudie Lee for Calgary Opera. CALGARY

Brenna Corner can relate to the starving, 19th-century Parisian artists at the heart of Giacomo Puccini’s La Boheme.

Sure, there’s nearly a two-century gap. But as a young artist setting out from Calgary to conquer the world, Corner felt a similar spirit of excitement when contemplating a life in the arts.

“The passion for the art you are creating and the fun that exists in that, I definitely remember that,” says Corner, who is making her Calgary Opera directing debut with La Boheme.“As an artist, I think that’s the thing that I love about this piece. All those things exist in it.”

It’s part of what makes La Boheme, which was updated to become the basis of the Broadway musical Rent, so timeless. And not just for young artists.

“They were this group of people who were trying in their own small way to throw off the expectations of life,” Corner says. “They were trying to change their own individual worlds and it’s that belief when you’re young that you can do that. It’s what we all have when we’re 19 or 20 and believe we will go out into the world and will change it.”

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