Few operas are perfect. How often can you truly say that not a note is wasted, or that words and music achieve a consistently ideal balance? Yet Giacomo Puccini’s “La bohème” achieves that rare state, says Opera Europa’s Director Nicholas Payne.
For many people LA BOHÈME has been the gateway into opera. So it was with master-director Stefan Herheim. He used the much-loved traditional production of his native Oslo as a ‘magical’ foundation for his version which breathes fresh life into Puccini’s immortal masterpiece.
“It is always an occasion when a director succeeds in giving an old, much-performed opera an entirely new interpretation that elevates the work to truly new heights.” This was one response to the première of Stefan Herheim’s hugely popular production of LA BOHÈME.
Using the stage sets and costumes from Norwegian National Opera’s 1963 production, Herheim and his youthful cast play on the expectations of this classic opera. At the same time challenge them by placing the opera in our own times and asking the audience to reflect on their own relation with tradition.
The escapist bohemians are confronted by the reality of the death of the girl known as Mimì. Her lover Rodolfo must discover his own real self through pain and sorrow.
How can a director find something new to interpret an operatic classic that has been staged hundreds of times all over the world? Norwegian director Stefan Herheim explains his approach in which old and new conspire to reveal the essence of Puccini’s much-loved classic.
An - almost authentic - interview with Giacomo Puccini.
Until today, “La bohème” remains one of Giacomo Puccini’s most-beloved operas. Puccini’s music and the libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica draw a vivid picture of the bohemian life in late 1800’s Paris. A synopsis accompanying Den Norske Opera’s new interpretation.