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Tenor Adam Smith reprises a lead role in La Bohème he performed in the UK

Adam Smith’s versatility is evident in the broad range of roles the Brit has played – Tamino in Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte, Cassio in Verdi’s Otello, Walther in Wagner’s Tannhäuser, among others. 

In January, he’ll make his Opera Carolina debut as Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème, a sentimental portrait of youthful optimism – even in the face of struggle and tragedy. 

Have you performed Rodolfo before? Where? What do you love about this opera? 

I have performed Rodolfo once before – at a festival in the UK a couple of seasons ago. I’m very excited to come to Charlotte and sing this incredible role. My favorite thing about this opera is that it’s very collaborative. Rehearsing Act I, especially, is always such fun. It really sets the audience up for a great evening of romance and heartbreak.

What are you doing to prepare? 

When you redo a role you’ve done a few years earlier, it does require some technical adjustments, as the voice has changed in that time. That’s really what I’m focusing on. 

How will you unwind while you’re in town?

When performing Rodolfo, there isn’t really a lot of time to unwind. He spends the whole evening on the stage, so I will be in rehearsals all the time! If I do get an afternoon off, it will probably be spent lying on the sofa watching TV or reading a book. 

What’s your favorite role you’ve ever played?

This is a hard question. I have two favorites. One of them has to be Hoffmann in Offenbach’s Les Contes d’Hoffmann. I performed the role for the first time in September 2019 at the Opera de Bordeaux in France. Secondly is a role I am starting to perform a lot, Don Jose in Bizet’s Carmen. This role is unique in its demands of the singer and actor.

What’s your dream role?

Again, I have a few. The first can be now, Des Grieux in [Jules] Massenet’s Manon. The other I will mention is hopefully in the distant future, Des Grieux in Puccini’s Manon Lescaut. The story is heartbreaking but interestingly, neither version is complete without the other. Puccini picked up on a part of the story that Massenet decided to leave out, which I find fascinating.

What would you be doing if you weren’t an opera singer?

I love the ocean and I love animals, so probably something to do with marine biology.

Where is home? 

Philadelphia – a raw, artistic city with cultural and historical heritage.

How about your favorite self-care ritual when on the road? 

Exercise and yoga!

What’s one fun fact about you? 

I’m probably one of very few opera singers who also used to play ice hockey.

What’s your superpower? 

It may sound cheesy, but I would have to say my superpower is my wife – a very strong and talented lady who supports me unendingly.

See Adam Smith in La Bohème at the Belk Theater Jan. 18, 19, 23 or 25. Tickets are available at carolinatix.org or 704.372.1000.