Live Cinema Season

La bohème (2015)

Recorded | Opera

Running time: To be confirmed

La bohème (2015)

A lost key and an accidental touch of cold hands in the dark – so begins one of the greatest romances of all opera. Anna Netrebko and Joseph Calleja star in the live cinema relay.

The story

When Rodolfo, a penniless poet, meets Mimì, a seamstress, they fall passionately in love. But their happiness is threatened when Rodolfo learns that Mimì is gravely ill.

Rodolfo, painfully aware that he cannot afford the medicine and care Mimì needs, separates from her. At the end of her life Mimì returns to Rodolfo's garret. They ecstatically embrace – but, despite the care of Rodolfo and his friends, Mimì dies.

Background

La bohème had a lukewarm reception at its premiere in 1896, but its fortunes almost immediately changed. Giacomo Puccini's romantic depiction of bohemian Paris, with memorable music and a love story drawn from everyday life, has captivated audiences round the world, making La bohème one of the best-loved of all operas. It was first performed in Covent Garden in 1897 and has had more than 500 performances here since.

John Copley's production 1974 production, with wonderfully detailed designs by Julia Trevelyan Oman, brings Paris of the 1830s to life – everything from the lively Latin Quarter, where hawkers and traders ply their wares, to a drafty attic where impoverished artists live hand-to-mouth. Rodolfo and Mimì's love story is given moving expression through Puccini's score, from their first meeting in Act I (a scene which contains some of the composer’s most exquisite arias and duets) to their poignant reunion in Act IV. These moments of emotional intensity are contrasted with the colourful spectacle of the Café Momus and surrounding streets in Act II, where Puccini presents a cross-section of Parisian society in all its noise and vibrancy.

Credits

Music
Giacomo Puccini
Libretto
Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica
Director
John Copley
Designs
Julia Trevelyan Oman
Lighting design
John Charlton

Performers

Conductor
Dan Ettinger
Mimì
Anna Netrebko
Rodolfo
Joseph Calleja
Marcello
Lucas Meachem
Musetta
Jennifer Rowley
Schaunard
Simone Del Savio
Colline
Marco Vinco
Benoît
Jeremy White
Alcindoro
Donald Maxwell
Parpignol
Luke Price
Chorus
Royal Opera Chorus
Concert Master
Sergey Levitin
Orchestra
Orchestra of the Royal Opera House

La bohème (1974) Digital Programme

La bohème (1974) Digital Programme
£2.99

Digital Programmes bring together a range of specially selected films, audio clips, pictures, articles, features, news and information, as well as exclusives and updates, and highlights from the Royal Opera House website, YouTube, SoundCloud and Flickr pages. Features are added as the performances approach, to enhance your experience of a production.

News and features

To find out more visit the La bohème (2015) production page.