Opera in four acts by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Giacosa and Illica
Based on the work of Henri Murger " La Vie de Bohème "
Soloists, Choirs and Orchestra from lyric company OPERA 2001
CAST in order of appearance
David Baños, Eric Fennell
Nikolay Bachev, Thomas Weinhappel
Héloïse Koempgen-Bramy, Mélanie Moussay, Gabrielle Philiponet
Giulio Boschetti, Paolo Ruggiero
Ivaylo Dzhurov, Adriano Gramigni
Francesca Bruni, Elisa Cenni
* This cast published just for informative reasons has no contractual obligation. The cast can be subject to change.
" La Bohème " is one of the masterpieces of the Italian opera . It is based on the novel "Scenes of Bohemian Life" , by French author Henri Murger . Giacomo Puccini ordered the stage adaptation of the novel episodes to Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa . It reflects the life of the Bohemians in the first half of the nineteenth century Paris , the daily struggle to survive , love , poverty, sacrifices and death .
Paris, Christmas Eve, 1830. In the attic, the painter Marcello and poet Rodolfo try to keep warm by burning pages of a book. They live with their companions Colline, a young philosopher, and Schaunard, a musician who just got a job and brings food, fuel and the needed funds. But while they celebrate their unexpected fortune, the landlord, Benoit, comes to collect the rent. To distract him they offer some wine and ask him to tell them about his flirtations, then they throw him out in mock indignation. The friends go out to celebrate at a nearby cafe called Momus, Rodolfo promises to join them soon, he has to stay home to finish writing an article. Someone knocks on the door: a neighbor, Mimì, who says her candle has been extinguished by the air currents at the stairs. Rodolfo offers some wine, and when she is depressed and a little dizzy, he lights her candle and helps her to her door. Mimì realizes that she has forgotten her key, and while they both search them the candles go out. In the moonlight the poet takes the trembling hand of the young girl and tells her about his dreams. Then she recounts her solitary life, which she spends embroidering flowers and waiting for the spring. Attracted to each other, Mimì and Rodolfo leave to the café.
Amid the shouts of street vendors, Rodolfo buys Mimì a hat near Café Momus, before introducing her to his friends. Upon their arrival, all they sit together and order some dinner. A toy salesman, Parpignol passes near by surrounded by children. Marcello's former girlfriend, Musetta, enters ostentatiously on the arm of the elderly and wealthy Alcindoro. In order to regain the attention of the painter, she sings a waltz about her popularity. Complaining that her shoe are too tight, Musetta sends Alcindoro to go to find her another pair of shoes, and when he leaves she immediately falls into the arms of Marcello. Joining a group of marching soldiers, the Bohemians leave Alcindoro to pay the tab upon his return.
In the snowy outskirts of Paris, a customs officer lets a farmer women in the city. In a tavern you can hear the cries of Musetta and a group of revelers. Mimì walks quickly toward her, looking for the place where Marcello and Musetta now live. When the painter emerges, she tells him about her distress over Rodolfo's incessant jealousy. Mimì hears Rodolfo, who had fallen asleep in the tavern, and hides from him; Marcello thinks that she has left. The poet tells Marcello he wants to separate from his unfaithful wife. To make matters worse, he tells that Mimì is dying of a disease that worsens because of the poverty because they both share. Desperate, Mimì stumbles forward tryint to prevent her husband from walking away,, while Marcello returns to the tavern to investigate the raucous laughter of Musetta. Meanwhile, Mimì and Rodolfo recall their happiness, Musetta and Marcello argue in the tavern. The painter and his mistress part in fury, but Mimì and Rodolfo decide to stay together until spring.
Some months later, Rodolfo and Marcello lament their loneliness in the attic, while Colline and Schaunard bring a little bit of food. The four start dancing, which triggers a mock fight. The merrymaking is ended when Musetta bursts into the room saying Mimì is on the ground floor, too weak to come up. Rodolfo runs to her, Musetta tells them how Mimì begged to be taken to her lover to die. Meanwhile, Marcello goes with Musetta to sell her earrings for medicine and Colline does the same with his precious coat. Alone, Mimì and Rodolfo recall their first days together, but she begins to cough. When the others return, Musetta gives Mimì a small stove to warm her hands and pray for her life. Mimì dies quietly, and when Schaunard discovers she is dead, Rodolfo runs to her side shouting her name.