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Lucas Tannous: Press

Posted April 27, 2008 14:26PM
For its annual spring production, Portland State University's opera program usually turns to classical-era repertoire such as Mozart's "Così fan tutte" or Rossini's "La Cenerentola" -- not exactly lightweight stuff, but well suited to young, lighter voices, and less demanding dramatically than the great tragedies that would come to dominate opera later in the 19th century. This year's production was an adventurous departure: Giacomo Puccini's "La boheme," one of the most popular of those sumptuous tragedies, as rich in melody as it is in grief.

In short, it was a gamble, and it paid off. "Boheme" was a good choice, for one thing: It's about young Parisian bohemians, so it's well suited to college students, especially college students headed for a career in the arts. Passion and poverty? Done, and done.

As in the past, PSU had to complete its cast with outside talent, in this case the young tenor Lucas Tannous in the role of Mimi's beloved, the poet Rodolfo. He turned out to be a great find, with an enormously appealing voice and an equally appealing stage presence. Obviously at home in the Italian style, he delivered high Cs with relish and passion; in his timbre and musicality, he recalled a small version of the young Luciano Pavarotti.

The rest of the cast worked well as an ensemble. Lyric baritone Michael Miersma brought charisma and a confident, easy delivery to the role of the musician Schaunard; he and Tannous were the best actors in the show.

Anna Viemeister's Mimi was dramatically subdued but vocally lovely; her attempted farewell in the third act ("Addio, senza rancor") and her duets with Tannous were high points of the evening.

Stage direction was by Tito Capobianco, an acclaimed veteran of some of the world's top opera houses and director of last year's "Così" at PSU.

PSU's "La boheme" continues Wednesday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Lincoln Performance Hall, 1620 S.W. Park Ave. Call 503-224-4400 for tickets
Monday, April 28, 2008
Review: Portland State's La Boheme
Portland State University’s production of Puccini’s La Boheme received a strong performance on opening night (Friday, April 25) at Lincoln Hall. The singing and acting by the principals won over the audience with convincing portrayals of young, poverty-stricken artists and lovers in the midst of their struggle to survive in Paris in the 1830s.

It’s really a treat to watch young singers who are roughly the same age as the characters in the story.

As the poet Rodolfo, Lucas Tannous sang with ardor and a beautiful tone. Tannous wisely paced his voice so that he could deliver Che gelida manina and all of the other demanding arias with élan.

The stage direction of Tito Capobianco was outstanding in every which way. For starters, the stage area was pretty small, but that didn’t stop the four men from camping up the first scene with all sorts of buffoonery, including a mock sword fight. The agility and athleticism of Tannous, Rose, Miersma, and Griffin moved the story along, but didn’t detract from it.

This production is another feather in the cap of PSU’s music department, which has won two first place awards in the National Opera Association Production Competition for The Marriage of Figaro (1999) and Don Giovanni (2002). Last year’s Cosi fan Tutte came in second. We will find out later how this one does.
Posted by James Bash at 11:38 PM
Issue date: 4/29/08
Every year, the PSU Opera Department puts on a full-scale opera production, for which professional singer and teacher Christine Meadows brings in a distinguished opera director to run the show.

This year, the guest director is Tito Capobianco who also worked on last year's PSU production of Cosi fan tutte, which was given second place by the National Opera Association at their highest collegiate level of awards.

Essentially, the award proves what some people on campus already knew--PSU has one of the best opera programs in the country.

This year's production is Giacomo Puccini's La Boheme, one of the best known and loved operas of all time. La Boheme is considered one of the most romantic operas, as well as one of the most plot and character driven works.

The PSU students who perform in this opera do well. Standing the tallest both musically and theatrically is Lucas Tannous' performance as Rodolfo. But the performances I saw featuring Allison Armerding as Mimi and Audrey Sackett as Musetta, were great as well.
Posted April 14, 2009 13:24PM
Lucas Tannous was an ardent Fenton, high of voice, brave of character, willing to sing any high note to win the chaste Nannetta.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Lucas Tannous, a young professional tenor who sang in PSU’s production of “La Boheme” last year, created a likable Fenton, the young man who is in love with Ford’s daughter Nanneta.