Wine, women and song on stage for singer John

La Boheme - Puccini - Opera North
La Boheme - Puccini - Opera North
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Sheffield singer John Savournin is on stage in Leeds with Opera North at the moment, playing a drunken Parisian!

John is one of the cast of La Boheme, Puccini’s famous opera about penniless seamstress Mimi and her artist friends.

He said: “It is set in the 1950s, which really helps the idea of the characters, especially the male bohemians in the social world of Paris at that time.

“It’s got a realism about it and it’s really interesting how the audience are drawn into the action and set-up and pay attention to what’s going on.”

John takes the role of Schaunard, who he is says is “an exhibitionist.

He’s a man who loves to tell stories and fantasise about what’s going on around him and really pushes the boundaries in terms of making people pay attention to him.”

There are two casts performing the opera at Leeds Grand Theatre and John says it has been fascinating to watch the other cast and how different their performances are.

La Boheme was the first Puccini opera that John performed when he moved to London from Millhouses to pursue a professional singing career.

His mum, Judy Savournin, is well known in Sheffield drama circles.

He said: “Boheme was a staple part of my opera singing diet for a while.

“It’s nice to come almost full circle in the role I started with years ago.”

He is busy elsewhere, performing and directing two shows for the Gilbert and Sullivan Opera Company, part of the Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, which has moved from Buxton to Harrogate.

The festival is touring shows for the first time and John is directing the touring versions of the Pirates of Penzance and HMS Pinafore.

He has taken part in the festival since he was a youngster, singing multiple roles and directing shows.

After that he will be performing a recital at the Wigmore Hall in London in July.

None of which leaves much time to catch up with fiancée Alexandra Hutton, a soprano who is performing in Berlin.

La Boheme continues in Leeds until Saturday.

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