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