It’s a brave opera company that puts on a big opera like “La Bohème” in a theater like Tacoma’s Rialto. No pit, no fly, no wings, no backstage and not even much stage room – it’s the kind of thing only a small community opera can get away with. Tacoma Opera’s bigger than that, but the decision to take Puccini’s tangled love-story about starving bohemian artists out of Tacoma’s bigger Pantages was a financial one made by a cautious board. And last Friday night it worked – but despite the venue, not because of it.
Tacoma Opera’s “La Bohème” was, in fact, a success, thanks to smart directing, skilful playing, and some excellent singing from most, if not all, singers.