After a successful collaboration on a virtual production of Gluck’s “Orfée et Eurydice” in the fall of 2020, the Washington, D.C.-based opera company IN Series asked Shenandoah University’s Conservatory Choir to join it in “Bohème in the Heights,” a ground-breaking reimagining of Puccini’s “La Bohème.” During the spring of 2021, the Conservatory Choir purchased recording equipment that allowed it to safely record the choruses from Act II in Goodson Chapel – Recital Hall. Accompanied by a pre-recorded piano track, small groups of singers recorded short sections which were then layered and stitched together. These were then sent to IN Series and were incorporated into the complete audio recording which included renowned singers from across the globe singing the principal roles. Finally, videos of the principal singers’ individual performances were animated and provided with a colorful and kaleidoscopic background that gave the illusion of modern-day Columbia Heights, where this new interpretation of the story was set.
On Saturday, Oct. 30, the Conservatory Choir, under the direction of Associate Professor of Voice and Director of Choral Activities Matt Oltman, D.M.A., took part in the Washington, D.C., premiere, joining in with the principal artists who all sang “live” along to the video.
The fully online (video and audio) version will be available soon at www.inseries.org.