Music by Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
Based on Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger
February 15, 17, 23, 2018, 8 pm. Wednesday, February 21, 7 pm
Sunday, February 25, 2:30 pm
The Royal Theatre, 805 Broughton St.
Sung in Italian, with English surtitles
Approximate running time: 135 minutes, including one intermission
Pre-performance talk 1 hour before curtain
Above: Scenes from Pacific Opera Victoria's production of La Bohème, with Lucia Cesaroni, Jason Slayden, Brett Polegato, Sharleen Joynt, Stephen Hegedus, Andrew Love, J. Patrick Raftery, Joé Lampron, Taylor Fawcett, Louis Dillon, Christopher Hinz. WIth conductor Giuseppe Pietraroia, the Victoria Symphony, Pacific Opera Victoria Chorus, and Victoria Children's Choir. Directed by Maria Lamont. Designer Camellia Koo, Lighting Designer Kevin Lamotte, Choreographer Jessica Hickman.
Young love, Paris, and Puccini ... resistance is futile.
One of the most loved operas of all time, Puccini's La bohème is a gorgeous, nostalgic slice of life about a group of young friends hanging out together, experiencing Paris and love, and loss. Puccini's music sparkles with humour, pours out lush, sumptuous melodies, and is always completely irresistible.
1. Robert Holliston's 2-minute synopsis of the opera:
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2. Robert Holliston in conversation with conductor Giuseppe Pietraroia:
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Lovely and sincere: POV's La Bohème
Melissa Ratcliff of Schmopera reviews La Bohème.
Polegato was vocally spectacular as Marcello ... Cesaroni ... lovely as Mimì –- light and effortless, even in her highest notes ...
Slayden's "Che gelida manina" ... absolutely brought the house down ...
The interplay between Polegato's Marcello and Joynt's Musetta was one of the highlights ... their fights almost always end in an extremely passionate embrace, which left the audience howling with laughter...
Overall, this production ... brought some innovative touches to an opera that has been done countless times, without altering or taking away any of the charm that has made it so immortal.
La bohème brings sparky fun to Victoria's Royal Theatre
Adrian Chamberlain reviews La Bohème for the Times Colonist.
POV's La bohème is worth seeking out. Director Maria Lamont chose a more-or-less traditional approach, yet still has sparky fun with it. The capable cast is young and attractive ... most will appreciate the wit, style and panache presented by Lamont and company.
Puccini's La bohème poses modern challenge for Pacific Opera Victoria
The Times Colonist's Mike Devlin interviews Maria Lamont, the director for POV's production of La Bohème about her approach to what is perhaps the best-loved opera in history.
Belgian-based director Maria Lamont ... appears to have the perfect approach – one that pushes the form forward, but with respect for the past...
[Puccini's] signature operas ... have become famous to the point of near-saturation, so audiences do not want to sit through a staid retelling. In 2018, fans like their Puccini shaken, not stirred...
What Lamont loves about Puccini's masterwork is his ability to capture young adulthood, where meaningful relationships and matters of the heart have a unique tone and context...
It's a story about young people, Lamont said. For the older members of the audience, they are trying to find those feelings again. For the younger people, they can identify with the experience.
Robert Moyes previews the opera for Monday Magazine.
This nostalgic story became the inspiration for both the musical Rent and film director Baz Luhrmann's eye-popping Moulin Rouge, but it's Puccini's ravishing music that keeps drawing audiences back to the operatic original. He has a great sense of melody, there's a beautiful arc to the phrases ... says Joey Pietraroia ... it's clear Puccini is a master craftsman
WIth the Victoria Symphony, the Pacific Opera Chorus, and members of the Victoria Children's Choir
Bohemia is a district in the Department of the Seine bordered on the north by cold, on the west by hunger, on the south by love, and on the east by hope. (La Silhouette, 1849)
On Christmas Eve, in their freezing Parisian garret, Marcello, a painter, and Rodolfo, a poet, burn one of Rodolfo's scripts to keep warm. Their roommates Colline, a philosopher, and Schaunard, a musician, arrive. Schaunard has made some money and brings provisions and cash. When Benoît, the landlord, arrives to collect the rent, they trick him into confessing his love affairs, then push him out in mock indignation. The friends leave to celebrate. Rodolfo stays behind to finish an article. A neighbour, Mimì, knocks at the door, looking for a light for her candle. They talk of life and art and fall in love.
In the Latin Quarter, crowds jostle and bustle. Rodolfo introduces Mimì to his friends at the Café Momus. Marcello's old girlfriend, Musetta, arrives with her wealthy admirer, Alcindoro. She wants Marcello back, entices him, and sends Alcindoro off to buy her a new shoe. Marcello and Musetta embrace. When the bill arrives, the Bohemians slip away, leaving Alcindoro to pay for them.
A couple of months later, Mimì, now quite ill, seeks out Marcello at a tavern by the Roule d'Orléans where he is living with Musetta. Mimì and Rodolfo have argued, and Rodolfo has come to the tavern to seek Marcello's advice. When Rodolfo comes out, Mimì hides. Rodolfo tells Marcello that he left Mimì because she is a flirt, but finally admits that he is terrified by her illness and too poor to help her. Mimì's coughing gives her away, and she and Rodolfo agree to separate, but then decide to stay together till spring. Meanwhile Marcello and Musetta quarrel fiercely.
Some months later, Marcello and Rodolfo are pining for their lost loves, who have found rich new admirers. Schaunard and Colline arrive with food, followed by Musetta, who has found Mimì wandering the streets, deathly ill and pleading to see Rodolfo once more. They bring her in, settle her, and go off to pawn various items to buy medicine. Left alone, Rodolfo and Mimì reminisce. The others return, and Mimì quietly dies.