A very Bohemian Christmas
30 October 2015
La Bohème composed by Giacomo Puccini is one of the most renowned operas of all time.
It’s story about a group of students and artists that will always capture an audience with its relatable theme of youth, falling in and out of love and being chronically short of money. If you like opera, it's a show you’ll be happy to go to over and over. If you’re not so sure, then this is definitely a very good introduction. This opera’s brilliance is very much recognised around the world, proven with its multiple reinterpretations– there have been at least seven film versions, including Baz Luhrman’s Moulin Rouge, and a 1990s off-Broadway musical that hit the big time, Jonathan Larson’s Rent.
La Bohème is based on a collection of stories by the Paris writer Henri Murger that were originally published one at a time in an 1850’s literary magazine and was turned into a very successful play. Then Puccini found it and created this wonderful piece, some may say because he could draw on his own life experiences as a penniless artist. La Bohème was first performed when Puccini was only 28, so he was not far from his student days at music school in Milan. One of Puccini money saver tricks was minestrone for dinner as the vegetables and pasta were so filling. Mind you, he did write to his mother in Tuscany to send him proper olive oil to improve the taste!
La Bohème is in performance at English National Opera, the London Coliseum, St Martin’s Lane, WC2 from 16 October – 26 November