City of Perth Opera in the Park: La Bohème

A FREE event supported by Lotterywest and Act-Belong-Commit

West Australian Opera and the City of Perth present Puccini’s masterpiece of love and loss with the popular opera La Bohème.

La Bohème is the story of a group of friends and idealists, living freely as they pursue their dreams. At the heart of the story are Rodolfo and Mimi, who fall in love at first sight but their hopeful outlook on life is shattered as they face poverty, illness and loss. This is an evening of beautiful melody and spine-tingling performances, touching on the heartbreaking moments in our lives which unite us all as humans.


CAST AND CREATIVES

Conductor – Brad Cohen
Director – Stuart Maunder
Rodolfo – Paul O’Neill
Mimi – Hyeseoung Kwon
Marcello – James Clayton
Musetta – Taryn Fiebig
Schaunard – Mark Alderson
Colline – Paull-Anthony Keightley
Benoît – Matthew Lester
Alcindoro – Mark Hurst
Production Manager – Mandy Farmer

FEATURING
West Australian Opera Chorus
West Australian Symphony Orchestra


DURATION

2 hours and 15 minutes including one 20 minute interval


DATE & LOCATION

Saturday 3 February | 8.00pm
Supreme Court Gardens Perth


FREE EVENT

This is a FREE event, no tickets are required.


LANGUAGE

Sung in Italian with English Subtitles


SYNOPSIS

ACT ONE

Christmas Eve. Rodolfo, a poet, and Marcello, a painter, are freezing in their studio. Colline, a philosopher, arrives as the fire, which Rodolfo has lit with one of his manuscripts, flickers and dies. Schaunard, a musician, arrives with food, wine and fuel for the fire.

A knock at the door; Benoit, the landlord, arrives demanding the rent. The four Bohemians ply him with wine and then bundle him off. 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. The new lovers then set off to join the others.

ACT TWO

The Square outside Café Momus, bustling with shoppers and hawkers. Marcello’s old flame, Musetta, appears with her new admirer, Alcindoro. To attract Marcello’s attention, Musetta sings her famous 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. They depart leaving the huge bill for the Alcindoro to pay.

ACT THREE

Daybreak just inside a tollgate. Mimì emerges from the throng of workers 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.

Mimì hides when Rodolfo suddenly appears. He declares to Marcello that Mimi is unfaithful but that she is also very ill and blames himself for her plight. A cough betrays Mimì’s presence and the lovers decide it is best that they part. A quarrel erupts between Marcello and Musetta. Mimì and Rodolfo decide to stay together until spring returns.

ACT FOUR

The studio, 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 to die. Musetta explains that the Viscount has discarded Mimì. The Bohemians rally to help. Musetta pawns her earrings and Colline sells his coat to buy medicine for Mimì.

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. It is Schaunard who first notices that Mimì is dead and Rodolfo is the last to realize; seeing the truth on his friends’ faces.