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MARCH 19

Opera addicts in withdrawal after a Puccini-free D.C. season can take heart—a fix is on the way. Virginia Opera blows out its 20 birthday candles at George Mason with a new staging of the opera-that-would-not-die, La Bohème. Director Jonathan Pape is time-shifting this glamorously low-rent story to 1946: Now Mimi’s tubercular romance with Rodolfo plays itself out in the bistros of postwar Paris. The young American cast should ensure a high handkerchief count, and considering the kudos for the company’s recent world premier of Simon Bolivar, Virginia Opera promises to be in peak artistic form. With three seasons at Mason under its belt, Virginia Opera has joined the ever-swelling ranks of Washington-area producers. We may not be able to snag an expansion team, but we collect opera companies like baseball cards. At 2 p.m. at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, 4400 University Dr., Fairfax. $12.50-63. (703) 993-8888. (Joe Banno)