La Boheme

Original 1896 poster by Adolfo Hohenstein

La Boheme – the Bohemian Girl

This is the famous Zeffirelli production, with over 200 people on stage in Act II.

Is This a Good Opera to Attend?

One of the greatest operas ever written and, certainly, in my humble opinion, the greatest portrayal of young love in any art form.
If you have never seen Boheme performed at the Met this is a great opportunity, with a young, attractive cast adding reality to the tale of love and loss among Paris artists in the 19th Century.

The Storyline

La Boheme translates as the Bohemian girl, who is named Mimi in the opera. She meets a starving young poet named Rodolfo in Act I. They each sing a beautiful aria telling about themselves and then follow this up with a rapturous love duet.

This being opera, however, there has to be some unhappiness involved. Mimi and Rodolfo break up. They reconcile in Act III and then break up again. Mimi comes back to Rodolfo at the end of the opera and dies of consumption.

About the Music

I have seen and heard this opera many, many times and I never fail to be moved by it. In recent years there has been more stress in world opera houses to find singers who can not only sing the parts of Mimi and Rodolfo but can also portray them realistically on the stage.
The Met will be offering several different casts for Boheme this season. They should all be good, but some may be better than others.