Maestro Marcelo Lehninger to Lead Opera Grand Rapids’ La Bohème in Collaboration with Grand Rapids Symphony

Maestro Marcelo Lehninger

Grand Rapids, MI – Opera Grand Rapids (OGR) is thrilled to announce the appointment of Maestro Marcelo Lehninger as the guest conductor for its upcoming production of Giacomo Puccini’s timeless classic, La Bohème. The performances are scheduled to take place on April 19 and 20, 2024, at DeVos Performance Hall.

“We are delighted to have Maestro Lehninger with us for our long-awaited grand opera this season,” said Emilee Syrewicze, Executive Director of Opera Grand Rapids. “He is a wonderful conductor and makes our collaboration with the GRS even more meaningful. Together, we aim to bring the magic of La Bohème to life in a way that resonates deeply with our audiences.”

La Bohème tells the poignant story of love, friendship and loss among a group of bohemian artists in 19th-century Paris. With its lush melodies, stirring emotions and timeless themes, this opera continues to captivate audiences worldwide.

“We are so excited to continue our collaboration with Opera Grand Rapids,” said Keith Elder, President & CEO, Grand Rapids Symphony. “The Grand Rapids Symphony and the Opera have played together for many years, and this production of La Bohème is another opportunity to create an unforgettable experience for our shared audiences alongside Grand Rapids Symphony’s Daniel & Pamella DeVos Music Director, Marcelo Lehninger.”

Brazilian-born Lehninger joined GRS in 2016. While he has led some of the leading orchestras across the country as a guest conductor, this engagement marks his directorial debut with Opera Grand Rapids.

La Bohème is my favorite opera, I have a very emotional connection to it – my parents chose my name because of this opera!” Said Lehninger. “When Opera Grand Rapids approached me to conduct La Bohème, my heart was filled with happiness. This production energizes the wonderful collaboration that the Opera and Symphony have enjoyed for so many years.”

The two performances will take place at DeVos Performance Hall, located at 303 Monroe Ave NW, on Friday, April 19 and Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. With an estimated run time of 2 hours and 35 minutes, the performance will include one intermission and will be sung in Italian with projected English subtitles.

The Friday performance coincides with OGR’s annual gala, Night with the Opera, and will be flanked by two celebratory opportunities, promising a night to remember!

  • Sunset Gala 4:30 p.m.
    La Belle Epoque: The Beautiful Age, aka, The Golden Age
    Includes pre-show dinner
  • Midnight Gala 10:30 p.m.
    La Vie a Minuit: Life at Midnight
    Includes hors d’oeuvres and drinks with the cast

Opera Grand Rapids is a long-standing, integral part of the city’s artistic fabric; funds raised at this event will directly support the opera company’s mission-based work. Learn more here:

Tickets for La Bohéme are available for purchase online through the Opera Grand Rapids website or at the DeVos Performance Hall box office. Ticket prices start at $20, with student tickets available for just $5 with valid student ID. For more information, visit:

Download the press release

A Conversation with Eve Summer

Opera Grand Rapids welcomes Eve Summer back as the stage director for Don Giovanni. We asked her a few questions about contemporary stagings of classic operas, how Don Giovanni relates to current audiences, and her advice for first-time opera goers. Read on for her thoughts.

Don Giovanni
October 22 & 24, 2021
DeVos Performance Hall

What inspires you to create contemporary settings of standard operas?

Eve Summer Connection. When we release ourselves from the responsibility of recreating period appropriate movement we can focus on the essence of the story, and tap into the most direct way to communicate with our scene partners. For me, contemporary settings are primarily about removing barriers between the artist and the character – fully inhabiting them without a layer of period gesture, mannerism, carriage. Even just not having a bulky costume between you and your lover makes a huge difference.Read More >

At OGR, every month is Women’s Month

We are Women! Hear us Roar Sing!

Jennifer Zetlan as Ruth Bader Ginsburg in Scalia/Ginsburg at OGR 

While women are gaining ground in the fight for equality and professional advancement, there is much still to be done…especially in the arts. According to an Opera America research study, historically there remains a static, very low (less than 8 percent) ratio of female general directors at the companies with the largest budgets. The GD/CEO percentages at mid-size companies have shown more variance but remain on average between 17 to 21 percent over the last 16 years. Performing arts organizations just don’t seem to select female leaders.

Opera Grand Rapids didn’t get the memo. Read More >

A Message from Executive Director, Emilee Syrewicze

Watch Emilee’s video message.

Dear Opera GR Patrons,

The Board of Directors is prioritizing the safety of the OGR staff, patrons and audience during the COVID-19 pandemic. The staff is working remotely while sheltering-in-place until April 13. We are fortunate that technology allows us to conduct normal operations and run a box office from our homes, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

We are rescheduling our spring events and Productions. 

Read More >

Opera Grand Rapids Transforms Scalia/Ginsburg into Virtual Performance

In Face of Global Pandemic, Opera Grand Rapids Transforms Scalia/Ginsburg into Virtual Performance

The Show Will Go On: Grand Rapids Company One of First in World to Stage Comic Opera

Grand Rapids, Michigan, March 13, 2020 – While arts organizations around the country canceled performances and closed their doors, Opera Grand Rapids found a way to bring a performance safely to its community during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rather than risk gathering a large audience in a confined space, the company received unprecedented permission from composer and librettist Derrick Wang to record and share the performance of Scalia/Ginsburg with ticket holders. The cast will perform in front of a very small audience at the Betty Van Andel Opera Center, where the production will be recorded by Aria Show Technology and then virtually broadcast to ticket holders.

Read the full press release