La Boheme, from The Royal Opera House
A lost key and an accidental touch of cold hands in the dark – so begins one of the great romances of all opera. Teeming with period detail, John Copley’s definitive production of this much-loved opera is traditional opera at its best. From a shabby garret to the bustling Café Momus to a snowy courtyard at dawn, this minutely observed panorama of 1830s Parisian life, beautifully designed by Julia Trevelyan Oman, conjures emotions and atmosphere ranging from joy to tragedy, in large-scale crowd scenes and intimate tableaux.
Puccini no doubt drew on his own student escapades – which anticipated his later reputation as a legendary bon viveur – for the robust humour of the comic scenes. And in his depiction of the tender and ultimately tragic love between Mimì and Rodolfo, Puccini achieved an immediacy, warmth and humanity that have rarely been equalled.
160 minute running time includes two intermissions