About La bohème
Jonathan Miller’s classic production returns to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the director’s ENO debut.
When Mimì knocks at the door of four impoverished friends, Rodolfo answers and it’s love at first sight. Conducted by Alexander Joel, Puccini‘s moving score follows Mimì and Rodolfo’s love unfolding from it’s joyful beginnings to the heartbreak of her death.
Tell Me More
A favourite of long-time opera lovers and opera novices alike, “La Bohème” is a giant of the genre, currently playing in a critically lauded revival production at the English National Opera. Director Jonathan Miller’s stripped-down production, which had a successful run about 10 years ago, ditches any unnecessary embellishments and ornamentation, throwing a spotlight on the simple beauty of the music and the story.
While this subtle and timeless production emphasizes Puccini’s enchanting composition, the story is made profound by the performances. The tragic romance between Mimi and Rodolfo is delicately poignant and beautiful performed by newcomers Natalya Romaniw and Jonathan Tetelman. Of Romaniw, “The Guardian” says she portrays Mimi “with a near ideal mixture of conviction and taste” and calls hers the “standout performance in this revival.”
What To Watch For
- Puccini was accused of stealing the idea for “La Bohème” from rival composer Ruggiero Leoncavallo. The latter produced his own version but the public chose Puccini’s as the clear favourite and Leoncavallo’s version was forgotten.
- With seven sisters, Giacomo Puccini was the only son born to his family. Therefore, he carried on the tradition of being the city cathedral organist passed down through all the men in the family since his great-great-grandfather.
- In the movie “Moonstruck” starring Cher and Nicolas Cage, “La Bohème” is featured prominently in a climactic scene between the two main characters. The emotional turmoil in the music directly reflects the parallel emotions in the scene of the film, as an intentional tool to heighten the audience’s reaction.
2hrs 15mins (inc. interval)