The opera La bohème composed by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica, is based on Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger. The opera is divided in four exciting acts portraying young bohemians living in the Latin Quarter of Paris in the 1840s.
The story talks about the love relationship between a penniless writer, Rodolfo, and a young seamstress, Mimì. The young lovers quickly fall in love at their first meeting, but theirs is destined to be a troubled love, ending with Mimì’s death.
The first act begins with a funny meeting between Rodolfo and his three friends during Christmas Eve. The friends are interrupted by the landlord, who arrives to collect the rent. The guys are cunning and after some glasses of wine the landlord gets drunk and reveals some amorous adventures, but also that he is married.
The friends use this information to not pay him and send him on hhis way, without the rent payment, they spend what money they did have for the rent on their evening out in the Latin Quartier.
While Rodolfo’s friends go out, he stays at home to finish an article that he is writing. Suddenly someone knocks at the door, a lovely girl Mimi. She asks Rodolfo to light her candel. They have a short conversation and immediately fall in love with each other. Then Rodolfo’s friends call him to go out with them, so Mimì decides to accompany him to Cafe Momus.
The second act is set in the crowded Cafe Momus where all the characters are enjoying their evening, when arrives Musetta, who sings a risqué and funny song that gets the attention of one of Rodolfo’s friend.
In the third act there is a leap of a couple of months and it is focused on the difficult relationship between Rodolfo and Mimì. The girl asks for help from a close friend of Rodolfo’s because she wants to breake up with him for his terrible jealousy. But she doesn’t know that Rodolfo is going to leave her because he fears she is slowly being consumed by a deadly illness. At the end of a moving dialogue between the lovers, they decide to stay together until the spring.
The last act is set some months later during the spring. Rodolfo and his firends are working and thinking about their lost loves. But suddenly Musetta appears with Mimì seriously ill. All of the characters go out of the scene to give Mimì and Rodolfo time together alone. Mimì tells Rodolfo that her love for him is her whole life. They remember past happiness and their first meeting. After a very touching and emotional dialogue, Mimì dies.
La bohème is famous for its amazing atmosphere and duets, it’s an opera that recalls the Parisian life of the 1800's.
We had the gratifying opportunity to attend a stunning and exciting play night of this opera conducted by Nicola Luisotti and played by an extraordinary cast, composed by Atalla Ayan and Ekaterina Siurina in the part of the main characters Rodolfo and Mimì.
The magic atmosphere of this opera is increased by the harmony of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, which accompanies all the incredible choreography and the duets in a impeccablly perfect way.
The costumes, make up and the play of lights transport you back to the Parisian setting of the 1800s, thanks to the production – like the snow during the winter scenes – that made everything even more spectacular.
In my opinion it is an opera that must be seen, that talks about a truly touching love story with scenes of simple and carefree comedy.
We really loved this play staged in one of the most elegant and evocative London theatres.