Thursday, 13 December 2012

La Boheme (opera)

La Boheme is one of the most often performed operas. Composed by Giacomo Puccini, the libretto was written by Luigi Illica and Guiseppe Giacosa. The plotline is based on an Henri Murger novel, Scenes de la vie de boheme, stories of young bohemians living in the Latin quarter of Paris in the 1840s, and probably also draws upon Puccini's own student escapades to provide some of the humour. The opera was first performed in Turin, Italy in February 1896, and quickly became a success with several other companies putting on the work over the next few years.

The Royal Opera House production has been designed by Julia Trevelyan Oman and directed by John Copley. The orchestra will be conducted by Mark Elder. A romantic tale of two couples, La Boheme is one of the great love stories. Seamstress Mimi (Maija Kovalevska) and writer Rodolfo (Rolando Villazon) fall in love with each other at Christmas time but their immediate happiness does not seem built to last. Mimi becomes sick and Rodolfo is not able to control his jealousy. Their friends, Musetta (Stefania Dovhan) and Marcello (Audun Iversen) help the stricken couple to restore their love but they eventually realise that they cannot live either with or without each other.

Cineworld, Tue 15th Jan, 19:15.
Tickets £17 (concessions £13.50). Available online, by calling 0871 200 2000 or in person at the Ticket Office.

1 comment:

  1. Despite the apparent jinxing of last night’s La Boheme screening, I thoroughly enjoyed my first experience of ‘proper’ opera. Cineworld’s Screen 3 was almost full and there was an infectious air of expectation and excitement.
    Unfortunately, a technical hitch with the relay meant there were no subtitles. We knew the gist of the story from the printed programme so I didn’t feel this was a major loss, but the cinema manager was very apologetic. It is strange to have limited understanding of what people are saying yet still to be swept along in their story without feeling lost. I loved being ‘in’ the music and all the singing was sublime.
    The advertised Rodolfo (Rolando Villazon) was ill so the main role was played by a young Ukrainian tenor, Dmytro Popov. There was audible disappointment when the change was announced, but Popov received enthusiastic applause at the end and we both thought he was very good. Musetta (Stefania Dovhan) was my favourite and I also thought Marcello (Audun Iversen) was very expressive. As expected, the Royal Opera House sets and costumes were gorgeous and unbelievably detailed. (If you get the chance, do go on the ROH Backstage Tour – it’s fascinating to see how much work goes into creating these shows!)
    Having been a little nervous that I wouldn’t like the medium, it’s now safe to say that I did ‘get’ opera and would definitely go again. I didn’t think the show was as magical an experience as a ballet performance but it was very emotional and the singing style makes sense when heard in the right context.