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La bohème

Premiere of this edition in Samara: November 16, 2018.

Production Team:
Stage Director Marina Shapkina
Musical Director Evgeny Khokhlov
Designer Elena Solovyeva

La bohème is an opera in four acts, composed by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger. The world premiere of La bohème was in Turin on 1 February 1896 at the Teatro Regio, conducted by the 28-year-old Arturo Toscanini; its U.S. premiere took place the following year, 1897, in Los Angeles. Since then, La bohème has become part of the standard Italian opera repertory and is one of the most frequently performed operas worldwide. 

La bohème premiered in Germany at the Kroll Opera House in Berlin on 22 June 1897. The French premiere of the opera was presented by the Opéra-Comique on 13 June 1898 at the Théâtre des Nations.

Early in the composition stage Puccini was in dispute with the composer Leoncavallo, who said that he had offered Puccini a completed libretto and felt that Puccini should defer to him. Puccini responded that he had had no idea of Leoncavallo's interest and that having been working on his own version for some time, he felt that he could not oblige him by discontinuing with the opera. Leoncavallo completed his own version in which Marcello was sung by a tenor and Rodolfo by a baritone. It was unsuccessful and is now rarely performed.


Scene 1
A Parisian attic occupied by Marcello the painter and Rodolfo the poet. It’s too cold to work here, and they can’t afford firewood. Rodolfo sacrifices a manuscript of his play to get some fire. Colline the philosopher joins the penniless company. Shaunard the musician comes and showers his friends with money he has earned. He takes the company to a dinner in the Latin Quarter. Rodolfo stays behind to finish his writing. But he has no inspiration.
Suddenly a fragile and gentle girl comes to ask for some light. Rodolfo lights her candle for her. Then she drops her key, and as they both grope for it in the dark they get to know each other closer. Rodolfo tells Mimì of his life as a poet, and she turns out to be a lover of poesy. This is love at first sight. The couple joins Rodolfo’s friends in the Latin Quarter.

Scene 2
In a café Rodolfo introduces Mimì to his friends. Parpignol, a toy vendor, provides Rodolfo with a present for Mimì. Musetta, a grand coquette, arrives accompanied by her keeper Alcindoro. She and Marcello are still in love with each other, and Musetta does everything to win his attention. Having succeeded, she sends Alcindoro away under a futile pretext and reunites with Marcello. The company gets off, leaving their bill for Alcindoro to pay.

Scene 3

Mimì comes to Marcello and complains that her relationship with Rodolfo is a stalemate, yet they can’t get rid of it. She hides away from Rodolfo, who in his turn complains that Mimì is too frivolous. Marcello wouldn’t believe, so Rodolfo confesses: Mimì is mortally ill, and Rodolfo can’t provide proper care. Mimì hears it and concedes to Rodolfo’s decision to break up. All she asks is to be remembered.

Scene 4

Rodolfo, Marcello, Colline and Shaunard are in their attic. Musetta runs in and says Mimì is dying. The bohemians want to help, but they have neither food nor fire. Musetta and Marcello go to get supplies, Colline decides to sell his coat to get some money. Rodolfo does nothing but remembering the first time he met Mimì. Mimì falls asleep, and Rodolfo believes she is better. In fact, she has left him for good.

Giacomo Puccini
Librettists: Luigi Illica, Giuseppe Giacosa
Language: Italian
Based on Henri Murger's "Scènes de la vie de bohème"
Premiere:1 February 1896, Teatro Regio, Turin
Genre: Scenes from the opera
Language : Italian (Russian )
Original title: La bohème
Title: La bohème
Duration: 1 час 45 мин
Acts count: 2
Premiere date: 16 November 2018
Age restriction: 16+

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