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  • BBC to broadcast The Royal Opera's La bohème on Christmas Day 2017

BBC to broadcast The Royal Opera's La bohème on Christmas Day 2017

The festive TV schedule also offers dance fans another chance to watch last year's Royal Ballet Nutcracker documentary.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

11 December 2017 at 5.35pm | 29 Comments

In a festive gift for opera fans, BBC Four will broadcast The Royal Opera's new production of Puccini's La bohème on Christmas Day at 7pm. It will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer for 30 days following broadcast.

One of the best-known of all operas, La bohème is a romantic depiction of 19th century Paris, with a captivating love story and sweeping music. Filmed earlier this Season, Richard Jones's production stars Michael Fabiano, Nicole Car and Mariusz Kwiecień. It is conducted by Antonio Pappano.

Also included in the Christmas TV schedule is another chance to catch 'Dancing the Nutcracker: Inside the Royal Ballet’, the BBC's access-all-areas documentary following the process of staging The Royal Ballet's The Nutcracker, which will be televised 31 December on BBC Four at 7pm. First broadcast last year, the 90-minute documentary focuses on debuts across the Company, from recently-promoted Principal dancer Francesca Hayward to young students from the Royal Ballet School.

The Royal Opera House and the BBC are partners.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

11 December 2017 at 5.35pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged broadcast, by Richard Jones, Christmas, La bohème, Production, Television, TV

This article has 29 comments

  1. Mary Heath responded on 11 December 2017 at 1:44pm Reply

    Oh good - oh. I probably watched it before, but you can never have too much of The Nutcracker! And boheme will be a treat I shall store up.... Thank you

  2. Katia Crowley responded on 11 December 2017 at 3:40pm Reply

    I was fortunate to see this production of La Boheme at ROH in September, and I loved it. I can't wait to see it again. What a wonderful Christmas gift - thank you!
    I wonder if it will be available on DVD too?

  3. David Ellis responded on 11 December 2017 at 3:49pm Reply

    The LA Boheme was not the greatest in any department.

  4. My absolute favourite opera. Can't wait!

  5. Patricia Baker responded on 11 December 2017 at 7:16pm Reply

    I agree with David Ellis. A new production of a much loved predecessor needs to be at the top of its game. This was truly awful. Michael Fabiano looked like an ageing Davy Crockett; and how four impoverished bohemians managed to live in that garret - 6' x 6' - beggars belief. What a shame. If I were Queen I would nip back to 1994 and rescreen La Traviata. What a happy Christmas Day that would be.

    • Karen McCarthy responded on 13 December 2017 at 11:48am

      Totally agree. I went and saw this production and was disappointed. I love this opera and was so looking forward to it. Wasted my money.

  6. Hooray - an alternative to ‘Strictly come Baking, celebrity grand designs, has-beens on train journeys having a jolly patronizing the locals etc.etc.’ Bravi!

  7. Kenneth Wolski responded on 11 December 2017 at 10:52pm Reply

    Will you live stream it?

    • Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media) responded on 12 December 2017 at 3:19pm

      Hi Kenneth,

      Thanks for your comment. The production was relayed live to cinemas earlier this Season.

      Best wishes,


  8. John R responded on 12 December 2017 at 9:54am Reply

    I saw the production at the ROH in September and again at the cinema showing - and thoroughly enjoyed the production and the musical performance, so another opportunity of seeing it is something to look forward to. I also hope that sometime in 2018, there'll be a DVD of this performance!

  9. Jackyt responded on 12 December 2017 at 11:18am Reply

    That's wonderful news! At last an opera at Christmas. And what a good choice - we saw this production at the cinema (a sellout) and the entire audience were in tears at the end. Thank you so much!

  10. Jessica Sebag-Montefiore responded on 12 December 2017 at 11:47am Reply

    I too loved it when I saw it in September and looking forward to seeing it with my family. Lovely singing from Fabiano, Car and Kwiecien -the whole cast was amazing and I liked the staging (I know that some didn't but I really did)

  11. Elizabeth Ryder responded on 12 December 2017 at 12:48pm Reply

    I just hope that on the BBC they could please sometimes throughout the year broadcast some more Italian and French opera !!!! Please

  12. Andrew Walters responded on 13 December 2017 at 8:50am Reply

    I can't wait to see it as i was sadly unable to attend a live performance in september. meanwhile The Nutcracker documentary is utterly brilliant and i look forward to seeing it again!

  13. Peter Lewis responded on 13 December 2017 at 4:45pm Reply

    I rather doubt my family will give up Christmas for a few hours to allow me to indulge myself with this but thank goodness for Sky+

  14. Deborah Page responded on 14 December 2017 at 9:13pm Reply

    I was lucky enough to get a ticket for this new seasons production having seen the old version more than 8 times...!!
    I have to say this new production blew me they managed to fill the stage with ever increasing scenery during the cafe scene was a triumph...the costumes were amazing the music (of course) was beautiful....
    My only criticism if I had to make one was where I was sitting (back if thecstalks) at times the orchestra seemed to overpower the singing....!!!

  15. Nutcracker documentary is great. A full ballet would be awesome.....

  16. sarah responded on 15 December 2017 at 6:02pm Reply

    Please could you live stream both the Nutcracker and La Boheme again. In both instances, my local Everyman cinema was booked solid before I had time to book.

    I would really be happy to see them both.

  17. I wasn't lucky enough to get to see the new production this season, so this is an excellent Christmas present from the Royal Opera House on Christmas day! I look forward to tuning in.

  18. Hilary Wears responded on 23 December 2017 at 10:21am Reply

    will you be streaming them on your you tube channel for those of us who don't have a tv?

    • Mel Spencer (Senior Editor (Social Media)) responded on 24 December 2017 at 10:50am

      Hi Hilary,

      I'm afraid the broadcast is on the BBC and we don't have control of where it is shown in this case - however, you will be able to watch online or on demand on a laptop or iPad if you are a UK resident with a TV licence.

      Have a very happy Christmas.


  19. Nikki squires responded on 23 December 2017 at 9:30pm Reply

    Really excited to see this again, I saw the live screening and absolutely adored it, one of the best opera's I've ever seen. What a wonderful Christmas treat was dreading xmas and now have something to look forward too.

  20. Tim Beath responded on 26 December 2017 at 8:42am Reply

    What a delight. Saw it performed by the Komische Oper in East Berlin on 31 May 1961 - still have the programme; Hermin Esser as Rudolf, Elizabeth Ebert as Mimi. Real fireworks in the market scene and a live donkey. The Wall (initially wire) went up on 13 August that year, the cast dispersed. Tears as curtain fell then - and again this Christmas day.

  21. Al Jones responded on 26 December 2017 at 10:41am Reply

    I did not like the production at all. The atic space was ridiculous as was the tiny stove; watch you don’t burn your hands on that pipe! I thought Act 3 was set at dawn not in the middle of the night and the final scene of Act 4 was a mess. No, it did nothing for me.

  22. Jean-Charles Boyer responded on 26 December 2017 at 3:08pm Reply

    Saw it on tv yesterday. This production is not realistic enough. The former one of John Copley war far better. F.Sempey and M.Kwiecien were excellent, N.Car not bad but not really moving and M.Fabiano not good enough, nevertheless the ROH production is much much better than the production we have this month in Paris, a dreadful and outrageous thing.

  23. K Davies responded on 28 December 2017 at 10:31am Reply

    About time too. These events should be on TV on a regular basis. The general population does'nt know what they are missing. Well done ROH and BBC. Lets have some more!

  24. Debbie Harrison responded on 29 December 2017 at 8:34pm Reply

    Great, it was my favourite Christmas watch on TV last Christmas

  25. Robert responded on 30 December 2017 at 10:11pm Reply

    We have belatedly watched this absolutely superb production and managed to get by on one man sized box of tissues, What is not to love about it. Brilliant and will be in the queue to buy tickets for the next performance. Thank you again ROH for a wonderful Christmas gift.

  26. Mike Howden responded on 29 March 2018 at 12:28pm Reply

    I loved this production - cried buckets! Will it be available on DVD??

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