About the show

Act One
Christmas Eve. Rodolfo, a poet, and Marcello, a painter, are freezing in their studio. Colline, a philosopher, arrives followed by Schaunard, a musician. Marcello, Colline and Schaunard go off to join the celebrations at the Café Momus. Promising to join them soon, Rodolfo settles down to finish an article he is writing. There is another knock. This time it is a neighbour, Mimì, holding a key and an unlit candle. She begs a light and Rodolfo obliges. Mimì drops her key. Together they search for the key, and their hands touch. They tell each other about themselves and Rodolfo passionately declares his love.

Act Two
The Square outside Café Momus, bustling with shoppers and hawkers. Marcello’s ex, Musetta, appears with her new admirer, Alcindoro. To attract Marcello’s attention, Musetta sings a waltz song. Marcello responds and Musetta, pretending that her shoe is pinching, sends Alcindoro to a cobbler. She joins in the revelry with Marcello and his friends.

Act Three
Mimì emerges looking for Marcello, who is at a nearby inn where he and Musetta have been living for the past month. She tells him Rodolfo’s jealousy has made their life together impossible. Rodolfo suddenly appears and Mimì hides. He declares to Marcello that Mimì is unfaithful, but that she is also very ill. Rodolfo blames himself for her plight. A quarrel erupts between Marcello and Musetta. Mimì and Rodolfo decide to stay together until spring returns.

Act Four
The garret, some months later. Both pairs of lovers have now parted. Mimì and Musetta have found wealthy admirers. Rodolfo and Marcello feign indifference, but neither can forget the memory of love. Musetta rushes in with the news that Mimì is desperately ill, and has asked to be brought back to Rodolfo. Alone for a short time, Mimì and Rodolfo recall the past, reliving their short spell of happiness together. Mimì, seized by a coughing fit, falls back, exhausted. When the others return, she weakly thanks them for their kindness and falls asleep…

Cast

CAST AND CREATIVE

Conductor – Brad Cohen
Director – Stuart Maunder
Guest Chorus Master – Francis Greep
Rodolfo – Paul O’Neill
Mimi – Elena Perroni
Marcello – James Clayton
Musetta – Rachelle Durkin
Schaunard – Mark Alderson
Colline – Paull-Anthony Keightley
Benoît – Matthew Lester
Alcindoro – Mark Hurst
Parpignol – Matthew Ward
Customs Officer – Thomas Friberg
Fruit Vendor – Perry Joyce

West Australian Opera Chorus

West Australian Symphony Orchestra