La Bohème • La Scala Milan

La Bohème • Giacomo Puccini • from 4 to 26 March 2023

The opera La Bohème in four acts by Giacomo Puccini has been one of the most popular operas since its premiere in Turin in 1896 and is part of the standard repertoire of many opera houses. The opera is set in Paris around 1830. La Scala offers a classic production of La Bohème. The opera was first performed in Milan in 1963, conducted by Herbert von Karajan. The libretto is based on the novel Les scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger and was written by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa.

The history

On a Christmas Eve in Paris, the writer Rodolfo and the painter Marcello sit hungrily and freezing in front of the cold stove. The philosopher Colline comes home in a bad mood. Only the musician Schaunard had earned a little money and used it to buy wine and firewood. They want to spend Christmas Eve at Café Momus. Rodolfo still has to finish an article when there’s a knock at the door. Mimi, the seamstress, asks for a light for the candle. Mimi stays and Rodolfo falls in love with the seamstress. Rodolfo takes Mimi to Café Momus. Musette is there too. Marcello’s old friend sends away her rich lover and ensnares her former lover Marcello. Marcello and Musetta often argue and Rodolfo and Mimi are on the verge of separation. Mimi is unhappy and terminally ill. A few months later, Rodolfo wants to see the terminally ill Mimi one last time. Musetta drags Mimi up the stairs to the apartment where Marcello and Rodolfo go about their work. To help Mimi, who is ill, the friends sell their belongings, only Rodolfo stays with Mimi, where she sings one last time about her love for Rodolfo. When the friends come back with the gifts, Mimi dies.