Paris, the Latin Quarter, love blooms and fades... The ultimate classic !

Preview

  • 6:30 PMPreOpera
  • 7:30 PMOpera starts
  • 8:25 PMIntermission
  • 9:05 PMIntermission
  • 10 PMOpera ends
Language: 
Italian (Subtitles : French and English)
Duration: 
2H30
Intermission: 
2

Summary

Since its premiere in 1896, Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème has held a prime position in the opera repertoire. “I would not hesitate to say that La bohème is a masterpiece,” wrote publisher Giulio Ricordi. La bohème is notable not only for its arias—such operatic jewels as “Che gelida manina,” “Mi chiamano Mimì,” and “Quando m’en vò”—but also for Puccini’s attention to detail, which casts a brilliant light on every aspect of daily life. According to Claude Debussy, Puccini succeeded in depicting the Paris of the 1830-40s better than anyone else. At the same time, much more than just a historical portrait, Puccini’s La bohème reveals to us profound movements of the human soul.

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Musical excerpts

La Bohème - Musical excerpts

20.23.25.27 May 2017

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La bohème - Podcast

Composer

Giacomo Puccini  >

Puccini is the most popular Italian opera composer after Verdi. Born to a long line of composers and organists, he lost his father at the age of five. His musical training was taken over by his uncle, and at 16, he entered the Istituto Musicale Pacini, where he composed his first works.

Stage Director

Alain Gauthier  >

Regarded by critics as a “sure bet” in today’s opera milieu, Alain Gauthier continues to make his mark in North American opera houses.

Synopsis

  • Act 1

    A garret – It is a cold Christmas Eve. Marcello paints while Rodolfo writes. For warmth, Rodolfo burns his prose… Colline, the philosopher, joins them around the meagre fire. But when Schaunard arrives with an armful of provisions, their spirits lift again. Benoît, the landlord, interrupts the celebration when he comes to collect the rent. The four friends cleverly get rid of him. Marcello, Colline, and Schaunard decide to go celebrate Christmas at the Café Momus; Rodolfo will join them later, as he must first finish writing an article. Suddenly, there is a knock at the door. It’s Mimì, a neighbour, asking for a match as her candle has gone out. Feeling unwell, she drops the key to her room… Rodolfo and Mimì strike up a conversation, telling each other about their lives. She asks if she may accompany him to the Café Momus.

  • Act 2

    Café Momus – Rodolfo is introducing Mimì to his friends when Musetta, Marcello’s former mistress, arrives with Alcindoro, a rich man with whom she is now living. Determined to win back her painter, Musetta sings a seductive waltz that exasperates both Alcindoro and Marcello. Musetta pretends to have a sudden pain in her foot, sending Alcindoro off to the boot maker. Musetta and Marcello are reunited, and the crowd of friends departs, leaving the bills for Alcindoro to pay…

  • Act 3

    A tollhouse – It is a cold winter morning and the sweepers and vendors are bustling about. From the nearby inn where Marcello works comes the voice of Musetta, singing for the clients. Mimì comes to confide in Marcello, telling him about her relationship problems. But when Rodolfo arrives, Mimì hides. Rodolfo also opens up to Marcello, telling him that Mimì is very ill and cannot hope to recover if she continues to share his bohemian lifestyle… Rodolfo suddenly notices Mimì, and the two lovers decide that they will separate with the coming of spring. While the pair clings to this brief respite, Marcello and Musetta quarrel and their break-up seems imminent.

  • Act 4

    The garret – Spring has arrived. Rodolfo and Marcello are trying to work; Rodolfo thinks of Mimì, Marcello of Musetta. Schaunard and Colline arrive. The four friends are engaging in childish games when a distraught Musetta interrupts them: Mimì’s condition has worsened. They all gather around her. Musetta sells her earrings to pay for the doctor. Likewise, Colline parts with his old coat. While Schaunard leaves them alone for a moment, Rodolfo and Mimì recall some of the fondest memories of their love. Mimì dies peacefully, surrounded by her five friends.

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