Opera North: Puccini's La Bohème

Savor “la vie en rose” with the rakish Bohemians of Paris
in the world’s most beloved opera.

This exquisite story of love and loss sung through Giacomo Puccini’s exquisite, romantic opera lives on in an intimate new production. Under Opera North’s heaven of stars, accompanied by the lush sound of a full orchestra, Mimi finds her true love Rodolfo while the coquettish Mimi waltzes her way through the beguiling joys of young love. Savor “la vie en rose” with the rakish Bohemians of Paris and some of the most beautiful music ever written for the stage. Sung in English, this familiar story endures as a beloved classic.


a poet and writer
Sam Mathis


a seamstress
Corey Lovelace


a painter
Jacob Surzyn


a singer
Arianna Rodriguez


a musician
Andrew Pardini



a philosopher
Matthew Soibelman

Benoit, a landlord
Alcindoro, Musetta's elderly paramour
Jeff Beruan


Conductor: Louis Burkot
Director: Helena Binder
Set Designer: Tony Cisek
Costume Designer: Alan Smith

Wednesday, July 28 at 7pm
Friday, July 30 at 7pm
Sunday, August 1 at 2pm

Blow-Me-Down Farm



The poet Rodolfo lives in a shabby garret in Paris with his friends, the painter Marcello, the philosopher Colline and the musician Schaunard.  On Christmas eve they are having difficulty staying warm but after tricking the landlord to forgo the rent, they go off to the Café Momus to celebrate.  Rodolfo lags behind to finish writing an article when his neighbor, a shy seamstress named Mimí, comes by looking for a light for her candle.  Despite her obvious frail condition, the two are drawn to each other and after pledging their love, go off to join the others at the Café Momus.


The Bohemians are enjoying the outdoor café when Musetta, Marcello's former lover, arrives on the arm of her new, older companion, Alcindoro.  She taunts Marcello with her popularity but ultimately, still very much in love with him, feigns an aching foot and sends Alcindoro running off in search of another pair of shoes.  Musetta and Marcello embrace as a parade comes by and all the Bohemians join in the celebratory atmosphere.


Well into winter, Musetta and Marcello are living above a tavern where he paints and she gives singing lessons.  They can't stop fighting, mostly because of Musetta's flirting and Marcello's jealousy.  Mimí arrives, much sicker than before, looking for Marcello.  Rodolfo has broken up with her and left under the pretext that she is unfaithful to him.  Rodolfo is actually in the tavern and when he comes out, Mimí hides.  She overhears the real reason Rodolfo has left her.  He can see that Mimí is getting sicker and he is wracked with guilt and shame that he hasn't the money to provide better care for her.  Mimí, shocked and distraught at news of the truth, makes her presence known and she and Rodolfo agree to stay together until the spring.  Meanwhile, Marcello and Musetta fight bitterly and she leaves him.


As spring blooms, Rodolfo and Marcello are back living in the garret with Colline and Schaunard, lamenting how much they miss Mimí and Musetta.  Some lively antics are interrupted when Musetta arrives unexpectedly to say that the failing Mimí is waiting outside and wants to see Rodolfo one last time.  Rodolfo carries her in and they recall their love and happy times together as the others contemplate how to pay for some medicine.  Musetta and Marcello reconcile and Colline and Schaunard each bid Mimí farewell.  In a quiet moment, Mimí dies and Rodolfo is left distraught.

-Helena Binder