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A free preview “La bohèm” makes its way to Oro Valley Jan. 27.

It’s a tale nearly as old as time: Girl meets boy, falls in love, and so on and so forth until it all ends either tragically or “happily ever after.”

But this time around, it’s a story that’s persevered in the hearts and minds of opera lovers across the globe for over 100 years—and is making its way to Tucson.

Originally composed by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa in 1895, the classic “La bohèm” is a collection of vignettes looking into the lives of young Parisian bohemians in the middle of the 19th century. 

Arizona Opera is brining this famous story to the stage Saturday, Feb. 1 and Sunday, Feb. 2. Ahead of those shows the Opera Guild of Southern Arizona will host free previews under the direction of guild member Susan Stokes. 

 “It’s a timeless story of romance and it’s something that we all are subject to,” said Stokes, who’s performed the role of Mimì several times over the course of her career. “That kind of love story that is dramatic and ill-fated just appeals to generations time and again.”

Stokes will lead the way, introducing the story of “La bohèm” while University of Arizona students sing select arias from the perfomance.

The guild’s preview will take place Friday, Jan. 24 from noon to 1 p.m. at Grace St. Paul Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St, and on Monday, Jan. 27 from 2 to 3 p.m. at the Oro Valley Community Center in the Sunset Room, 10555 N. La Cañada Drive.

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