Orchestra dell Arte La Boheme

Orchestra dell’Arte: La Bohème


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Under 19's: £10.00

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Puccini La Bohème
Orchestra dell’Arte
Edward Peak conductor and artistic director
Joseph Buckmaster Rodolfo
Heather Buckmaster Mimi
Michael Dewis Marcello
Rachael Hughes Musetta
David Cane Schaunard
Matthew Baldwin Colline
Martin Lamb Alcindoro / Benoit

Following the huge success of their performance of Madame Butterfly last year, Orchestra dell’Arte are once again bringing another of Giacomo Puccini’s glorious stage works to life here in Liverpool.

Since its premiere in Turin in 1896, La Bohème has become a standard work for all major opera companies. Set in Paris in the 1840s, this opera tells the story of a penniless quartet of young men, a poet, a painter, a musician and a philosopher. There is a chance meeting with a young seamstress, Mimi. In wonderfully theatrical style, a chance draught blows out both Mimi’s and Rodolfo’s candle. While searching for a light, their hands touch in the darkness, there is an instant mutual attraction, and this sets the scene for the drama that is to follow.

The group of friends go through a number of adventures, in a local cafe and also at the city gates. Mimi is quite obviously unwell, and there is great concern. The final act is pure Puccini, with some of the most exquisite music and drama, very reminiscent of the final scene of Butterfly. Mimi is now seriously ill, and the opera comes to a searingly passionate conclusion.

About Orchestra dell’Arte

Orchestra dell’Arte is a group of highly talented musicians performing as a salon or symphony orchestra, be it for intimate musical evenings or full-scale concert performances. Founded in 2010, the Orchestra has played concerts across the Northwest offering a very wide range of popular classical, romantic and themed repertoire. Programmes have included the work of a great many composers – from Mozart and Beethoven to Rimsky-Korsakov and Saint-Saens. Viennese evenings and concerts of light music including music from film, radio and television have added to the musical diversity and have always proved very popular. In 2013 the Orchestra became the Orchestra in Residence at St George’s Hall, Liverpool and celebrated its 10th Anniversary Season there with world-class soloists in 2019-2020. The recent staged production of Madame Butterfly with professional singers was highly acclaimed by the audience in Liverpool.

They have also performed with some of the highest calibre soloists including Sir Stephen Hough, Raphael Wallfisch, Jack Liebeck and Ofer Falk.

About Edward Peak (Conductor)

Edward Peak is Orchestra dell’Arte's Conductor and Artistic Director. Edward studied conducting at the Royal Manchester College of Music under George Hadjinikos and David Jordan, with other studies on the piano and double bass. After leaving college in 1973, he joined the double bass section of the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra (RLPO). This period as an orchestral musician enabled him to work under the baton of many world-renowned conductors, familiarising him not only with a vast repertoire but also with a wide range of conducting styles. His own conducting career began after study with Marek Janowski and advice from Sir Charles Groves.

He has conducted extensively with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Ochestra and also with the BBC Concert Orchestra, the Ulster Orchestra, the Northern Chamber Orchestra and internationally in programmes ranging from operatic and symphonic music to gala concerts of film music.

Promoted by Orchestra dell’Arte.


A booking fee of 8% will apply to purchases made online.

Concessions for Orchestra dell’Arte concerts: under 18's.

Access seats are available to visitors with additional access requirements such as wheelchair users. Sign-up to the access scheme to book these seats.

Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Under-10’s are not permitted to sit on the balconies.

Please note no food or drink other than bottled water is permitted in The Tung Auditorium. Interval drinks can be ordered on arrival.

This concert will finish at approximately 9.45pm.


Heather Buckmaster

Heather Buckmaster graduated from the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire with First Class Honours in 2013. In 2020 Heather completed her master’s degree in Music Therapy at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Now a qualified Music Therapist, as well as performing, Heather specialises in dementia care working in care homes.

Since leaving the Conservatoire she has played numerous operatic roles including Susanna in Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro, Adele in Strauss’ Die Fledermaus, Olympia in Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffman, Tatyana in Tchaikovsky‘s Eugene Onegin, Micaela in Bizet‘s Carmen, Donna Elvira in Mozart‘s Don Giovanni and Gilda in Verdi‘s Rigoletto.

Heather made her debut role with Heritage Opera playing Zerlina in Mozart’s Don Giovanni and has performed with them as Nedda in Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci, Lola in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana, Despina in Mozart’s Così fan Tutte, 1st Lady in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Mabel in The Pirates of Penzance and Susanna in Mozart's The Marriage of Figaro. Heather has also performed with Flat Pack Music as Pamina in Mozart’s The Magic Flute, Fiordiligi in Mozart’s Così fan Tutte, Mimì in Puccini’s La Bohème.

Heather is just as at ease on the concert platform performing in: Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Finzi’s In Terra Pax, Faure’s Requiem, Handel’s Messiah, Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, Schubert’s Mass in G, Mozart’s C Minor Mass, Haydn's Creation and Bach's St John Passion. She is also a regular concert and recital performer across the country.

Heather Buckmaster

Joseph Buckmaster

British tenor Joseph Buckmaster is equally at home on both the opera stage and concert platform. 2024 highlights included his debut with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for Verdi’s Requiem and Malcolm in Macbeth for Mid Wales Opera. He will make his debut with Longborough Festival Opera covering Rodolfo in their upcoming production of La Bohéme.

In 2023 Joseph returned to Opera Holland Park as Rodolfo in La bohéme after a successful Monsieur Triquet in their production of Eugene Onegin the previous year. Joseph has a close relationship with IF Opera and recently returned as a guest artist in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

In 2021, Joseph made his debut with Grange Park Opera singing the role of Male 1 in the world premiere of The Life and Death of Alexander Litvinenko.

Joseph has an ongoing relationship with Heritage Opera, roles with them have included Tamino (The Magic Flute), Ferrando (Cosi fan Tutte), Basilio and Don Curzio (The Marriage of Figaro) and he covered the role of Don José (Carmen).

Joseph studied at both the Royal Northern College of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. Whilst at the Royal Academy roles included Apollo (Semele) and Alméric (Iolanta).

On the concert platform, performances include Handel’s Messiah, Judas Maccabaeus and The Foundling Hospital Anthem, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Bach’s Christmas Oratorio and St John Passion, Mendelssohn’s Elijah, Mozart’s Requiem, Ramirez’s Misa Criolla and Puccini’s Messa di Gloria.

Joseph Buckmaster

Michael Dewis

Michael Dewis studied at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama (1990-1995), The Opera Course at the Guildhall School (1995-1996) and the National Opera Studio (1996-1997).

Prizes and awards include the Schubert Prize of Great Britain, The Harold Rosenthal award for Opera and the Anna Wyburd prize for Lieder. He has studied with Rudolph Piernay, David Pollard, David Barrell and now studies with David L Jones.

He is a regular soloist with the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, Welsh national Opera, Opera North etc, as well as many roles abroad-including a period of being principal baritone at Bremerhaven in Germany.

On the concert platform he has sung all of the main choral works with orchestras such as the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Bournemouth Sinfonietta and Symphony and the London Symphony Orchestra in all of the major concert venues in Great Britain (Royal Albert Hall, Royal Festival Hall, The Barbican etc). Recordings include has recorded Tippett’s Child of our Time (France) and Purcell’s King Arthur (Holland with Tom Koopman), as well as many live broadcasts in the UK and beyond.

Michael Dewis

Rachael Hughes

Rachael Hughes is a soprano from Wrexham, North Wales. Rachael is excited to return and sing with Flat Pack. She has also worked and sung roles for Mid Wales Opera, Opera Co-Pro and North Wales Opera Company.

Rachael was a finalist for the Welsh Singers Showcase 20/21 and a runner up in the Llangollen Eisteddfod’s Pendine Voice of the Future Competition. She has also had the pleasure of singing alongside many choirs and orchestras including Cardiff Philharmonic, Wrexham Symphony, Shrewsbury Orchestra, Rhos Male Voice choir and most recently Border Singers. Alongside performing, Rachael also conducts Tattenhall Singers and teaches singing to pupils in the Northwich area.

Rachael Hughes

David Cane

David is a former choral scholar at King’s College, Cambridge, where he studied for a degree in Theology and Religious studies. Recently, David has completed three years of postgraduate studies at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, where he gratefully received the support of the D’Oyly Carte Charitable Trust.

Whilst at the RNCM, David won the ‘Bessie Cronshaw / Frost Brownson Song Cycle Competition’. On the operatic stage, David has played roles including ‘Starveling’ in Britten’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, ‘Bob’ in a production of The Old Maid and the Thief by Menotti, ‘Don Alfonso’ in the RNCM’s 2016 production of Cosi fan Tutte by Mozart.

Most recently David performed the role of ‘Figaro’ in Mozart’s ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ for Flat Pack Music. Last year her performed the roles of ‘Alfio’ in Mascagni’s Cavalleria Rusticana and ‘Tonio’ in Leoncavallo’s I Pagliacci for Heritage Opera.

David has previously worked with ‘Flat Pack Music’ performing as ‘Schaunard’ in Puccini’s La Boheme, ‘Count Almaviva’ and ‘Papageno’ in Mozart’s operas ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ and ‘The Magic Flute’. Alongside his singing career, David is currently Organist and Director of Music of St Paul’s Church in Withington and is the musical director of Urmston and Flixton Women’s Institute Choir and Sale Male Voice Choir. In January 2023, David took up the position of Director of Music of Oldham Choral Society.

OdA David Cane

Matthew Baldwin

Matthew is a classically trained bass from the North-West of England and is delighted to be working with Flat Pack Music once again. First introduced to music whilst at Rossall School, Matthew has sung across the UK and Europe including York Minster, Westminster Abbey, and St Mark’s Basilica. He went on to become Head of Choir and won the coveted Sir Thomas Beecham award in his final year at school.

Matthew’s classical vocal training began in 2014 with Michael Hall, who introduced him to the world of opera. Through the opera company Musica Lyrica, Matthew gave his first public performance as an operatic soloist singing arias from The Magic Flute, Don Pasquale, and Showboat. At the age of 18, Matthew performed in his first opera, Tosca, where he played the role of Sciarrone, following which, he spent 6 months in Italy studying with internationally acclaimed tenor, Angelo Marenzi.

In 2018, Matthew performed his first principal role as Sarastro in Mozart's The Magic Flute, a role he reprised in early 2019 with Flat Pack Music. In July 2019, Matthew debuted in London, performing the role of Colline in Puccini’s, La Boheme in 2019, a role he reprised in 2021 and 2023.

Matthew was delighted to perform at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama Opera Gala in 2021 and 2022, under the baton of Maestro Carlo Rizzi alongside the Welsh National Opera Orchestra whilst studying at the David Seligman Opera School in Cardiff.

Matthew is frequently called upon as bass soloist for ecclesiastical choral works as well as other works including Faure’s Requiem and Mozart’s Requiem. He was Choral Scholar at Blackburn Cathedral in 2021 and, in 2022, was the first recipient of the Cardiff Arms Park Male Choir Music Scholarship.

Matthew Baldwin

Martin Lamb

Martin Lamb was born in Southport and studied at St John’s College, Oxford and GSMD. He has appeared as a principal artist with many of the country’s leading opera companies, including ENO, Scottish Opera, ETO, Diva Opera, and Garsington Opera.

His repertoire encompasses character bass and bass-baritone roles including Don Pasquale, the Mozart and Rossini Dr Bartolos, Dulcamara, Don Magnifico and Alberich, and he has created roles in new works by composers including Lyell Cresswell, Timothy Burke, Danyal Dhondy and Vitaly Khodosh.

He won the Audience Prize at the Wagner Society singing competition in 2014. Alongside his work as a singer, Martin is a playwright and theatre-maker specialising in creating works for family audiences, often in unusual settings (including the Tower of London, Dover Castle and several stately homes and castles) and his plays about science have toured the UK and throughout China.

Last season he translated and directed a new version of Così fan Tutte for the Gap Festival in Goring & Streatley, and is currently working on a new English version of Le nozze di Figaro for the same festival in 2024. Other plans for 2023 include appearing in the world premieres of Lisa Logan’s Brontë the Opera (Grimeborn Festival) and of Marianna Bottini’s 1822 bel canto opera Elena e Gerardo (Random Opera), as well as curating an evening of songs, new music and storytelling for the Yorkshire Rewilding Network. He lives in South Yorkshire with his wife and son.

Martin Lamb