An image from Act II of La Boheme, with a celebration in the Latin Quarter. (Photo contributed)

Experience the treasure of La Bohème

La Bohème Live from the Met will run Saturday, Feb. 24 at the Salmar Classic

La Bohème Live from the Met will run Saturday, Feb. 24 at 9:30 a.m. at the Salmar Classic Theatre.

Arguably the world’s most popular opera, La Bohème by Giacomo Puccini returns in Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production with Sonya Yoncheva as Mimi and Michael Fabiano as the poet Rodolfo. Marco Armiliato conducts.

La Bohème premiered in Turin in 1896 and is the passionate, timeless, and indelible story of love among young artists in Paris. The libretto sets the action in the Latin Quarter, circa 1830. This is not a random setting, but rather reflects the issues and concerns of a particular time when, following the upheavals of revolution and war, French artists had lost their traditional support base of aristocracy and church. The story centers on self-conscious youth at odds with mainstream society — a Bohemian ambience that is clearly recognizable in any modern urban center.

Giacomo Puccini (1858 – 1924) was immensely popular in his own lifetime, and his mature works remain staples in the repertory of most of the world’s opera companies. His librettists, the dramatist Guiseppe Giacosa (1847-1906) and the poet Luigi Illica (1857-1919) also collaborated with him on his next two operas – Tosca and Madama Butterfly.

Lyrical and touchingly beautiful, the score of La Bohème exerts an immediate emotional pull. Many of its most memorable melodies are built incrementally, with small intervals between the notes that carry the listener with them on their lyrical path. This melodic structure perfectly captures the “small people” (as Puccini called them) of the drama and the details of everyday life.

At first glance, La Bohème is the definitive depiction of the joys and sorrows of love and loss. But on closer inspection, it reveals the deep emotional significance hidden in the trivial things — a bonnet, an old overcoat, a chance meeting with a neighbour, a lost key — that make up our everyday lives. La Bohème has a marvellous ability to make a powerful first impression and to reveal unsuspected treasures after dozens of hearings.

Please note the earlier start time. Estimated run time is 2 hours, 55 mins including two-30 minute intermissions.

-Submitted By Gabriele Klein

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