Opera Scotland

Bohème La bohème; Scenes from bohemian life

Tours by decade

1890s - 1 tour

1897 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1900s - 1 tour

1907 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1910s - 5 tours

1917 - O'Mara Grand Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1918 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1918 - Beecham Grand Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1919 - Beecham Grand Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1919 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1920s - 15 tours

1920 - O'Mara Grand Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1920 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1921 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1922 - British National Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1922 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1923 - British National Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1924 - British National Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1925 - British National Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1926 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1926 - British National Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1927 - British National Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1928 - British National Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1929 - Edinburgh Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1929 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1929 - Covent Garden Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1930s - 5 tours

1930 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1932 - Covent Garden Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1936 - Covent Garden Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1937 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1938 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1940s - 10 tours

1941 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1942 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1943 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1944 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1944 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1945 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1946 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1947 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1948 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1949 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1950s - 17 tours

1950 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1951 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1952 - Iskoldoff Italian Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1952 - Covent Garden Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1952 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1953 - Covent Garden Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1953 - Iskoldoff Italian Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1954 - Iskoldoff Italian Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1954 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1955 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1955 - Iskoldoff Italian Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1955 - Covent Garden Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1956 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1956 - Iskoldoff Italian Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1957 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1957 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1958 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1960s - 3 tours

1960 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1961 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1967 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1970s - 6 tours

1973 - Glasgow Grand Opera Society
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1974 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1975 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1976 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1977 - Tayside Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1979 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1980s - 4 tours

1981 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1984 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1988 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1989 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

1990s - 5 tours

1991 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1993 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1995 - Scottish Opera
Fully staged, piano accompaniment
1997 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
1999 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

2000s - 4 tours

2001 - Scottish Opera
Fully staged, piano accompaniment
2004 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2006 - Ellen Kent Productions
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2009 - Tayside Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

2010s - 33 tours

2010 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2010 - Scottish Opera
Opera Unwrapped
2010 - Royal Opera, Covent Garden
Cinema Screening
2010 - Royal Opera
Cinema Screening
2010 - Opera Bohemia
Fully staged, piano accompaniment
2010 - Perth Playhouse
Cinema Screening
2011 - Opera Bohemia
Other
2012 - Ellen Kent Productions
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2012 - Royal Opera
Cinema Screening
2012 - Opera Bohemia
Other
2013 - Opera Bohemia
Fully staged, piano accompaniment
2014 - Metropolitan Opera
Cinema Screening
2014 - Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2014 - Ellen Kent Productions
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2014 - Opera Bohemia
Fully staged, piano accompaniment
2014 - Royal Opera
Cinema Screening
2015 - English Touring Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2016 - Swansea City Opera
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2016 - Edinburgh Grand Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2016 - Opera à la Carte
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2016 - Clyde Opera Group
Concert performance
2016 - Magnetic Opera
Other
2017 - Scottish Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2017 - Scottish Opera
Opera Unwrapped
2017 - Scottish Opera
Pre-show Talk
2017 - Ellen Kent Productions
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2017 - Heritage Opera
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2017 - Teatro Regio, Turin
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2017 - OperaUpClose
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2017 - Opera Bohemia
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2017 - Heritage Opera
Fully Staged, reduced orchestration
2018 - Royal Opera, Covent Garden
Cinema Screening
2019 - Paisley Opera
Fully Staged with Orchestra

2020s - 2 tours

2020 - Ellen Kent Productions
Fully Staged with Orchestra
2020 - Scottish Opera
Other

Tours by location

Scotland, UK - 279 entries

1897 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1897 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1907 - Moody-Manners Opera Company
Edinburgh
1917 - O'Mara Grand Opera Company
Dundee
1917 - O'Mara Grand Opera Company
Glasgow
1918 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1918 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1918 - Beecham Grand Opera Company
Glasgow
1918 - Beecham Grand Opera Company
Edinburgh
1919 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1919 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1919 - Beecham Grand Opera Company
Edinburgh
1919 - Beecham Grand Opera Company
Glasgow
1920 - O'Mara Grand Opera Company
Aberdeen
1920 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1920 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1921 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1922 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1922 - British National Opera Company
Edinburgh
1922 - British National Opera Company
Glasgow
1923 - British National Opera Company
Edinburgh
1923 - British National Opera Company
Glasgow
1924 - British National Opera Company
Glasgow
1925 - British National Opera Company
Glasgow
1925 - British National Opera Company
Edinburgh
1926 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1926 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1926 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Dundee
1926 - British National Opera Company
Glasgow
1926 - British National Opera Company
Edinburgh
1927 - British National Opera Company
Glasgow
1927 - British National Opera Company
Edinburgh
1927 - British National Opera Company
Dundee
1928 - British National Opera Company
Aberdeen
1928 - British National Opera Company
Glasgow
1929 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1929 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1929 - Edinburgh Opera Company
Edinburgh
1929 - Covent Garden Opera
Aberdeen
1929 - Covent Garden Opera
Glasgow
1929 - Covent Garden Opera
Edinburgh
1930 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1932 - Covent Garden Opera
Edinburgh
1936 - Covent Garden Opera
Edinburgh
1937 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1937 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1938 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1938 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1941 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1941 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Edinburgh
1942 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1942 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1943 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1943 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1944 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1944 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1944 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1944 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1944 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Edinburgh
1945 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1945 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1945 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1946 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1946 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1946 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1947 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1947 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1948 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1948 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1948 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1949 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1949 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1949 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1950 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1950 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1951 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1951 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1952 - Covent Garden Opera
Glasgow
1952 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Aberdeen
1952 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1952 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1952 - Iskoldoff Italian Opera Company
Glasgow
1953 - Covent Garden Opera
Edinburgh
1953 - Iskoldoff Italian Opera Company
Glasgow
1953 - Iskoldoff Italian Opera Company
Edinburgh
1953 - Iskoldoff Italian Opera Company
Aberdeen
1954 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1954 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Edinburgh
1954 - Iskoldoff Italian Opera Company
Glasgow
1954 - Iskoldoff Italian Opera Company
Aberdeen
1954 - Iskoldoff Italian Opera Company
Edinburgh
1955 - Covent Garden Opera
Edinburgh
1955 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1955 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Dundee
1955 - Iskoldoff Italian Opera Company
Glasgow
1956 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1956 - Iskoldoff Italian Opera Company
Glasgow
1956 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Dundee
1956 - Iskoldoff Italian Opera Company
Edinburgh
1957 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Aberdeen
1957 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Dundee
1957 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1957 - Carl Rosa Opera Company
Glasgow
1958 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Edinburgh
1958 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Dundee
1958 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Aberdeen
1958 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1960 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Edinburgh
1960 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Aberdeen
1960 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1961 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Edinburgh
1961 - Sadler's Wells Opera
Glasgow
1967 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1967 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
1967 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1973 - Glasgow Grand Opera Society
Glasgow
1974 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1975 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1975 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
1975 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1976 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1977 - Tayside Opera
Dundee
1979 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1981 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1984 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1984 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1988 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1988 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1989 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1989 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
1989 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1991 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1991 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1993 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1993 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1995 - Scottish Opera
Dundee
1995 - Scottish Opera
Galashiels
1995 - Scottish Opera
Rothesay, Isle of Bute
1995 - Scottish Opera
Pitlochry
1995 - Scottish Opera
Dornoch
1995 - Scottish Opera
Thurso, Caithness
1995 - Scottish Opera
Kirkwall, Orkney
1995 - Scottish Opera
Elgin, Moray
1995 - Scottish Opera
Ellon, Aberdeenshire
1995 - Scottish Opera
Ullapool
1995 - Scottish Opera
Loch Ailort
1995 - Scottish Opera
Banchory, Kincardineshire
1995 - Scottish Opera
Helensburgh
1995 - Scottish Opera
Motherwell
1995 - Scottish Opera
Dumfries
1995 - Scottish Opera
Linlithgow
1995 - Scottish Opera
Oban, Argyll
1995 - Scottish Opera
Stranraer, Wigtownshire
1995 - Scottish Opera
Ayr
1995 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1997 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
1997 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1997 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
1997 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1999 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
1999 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
1999 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
1999 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
2001 - Scottish Opera
Motherwell
2001 - Scottish Opera
Cromarty
2001 - Scottish Opera
Thurso, Caithness
2001 - Scottish Opera
Aultbea, Ross-shire
2001 - Scottish Opera
Ellon, Aberdeenshire
2001 - Scottish Opera
Banchory, Kincardineshire
2001 - Scottish Opera
Ballachulish, Argyll
2001 - Scottish Opera
Comrie
2001 - Scottish Opera
Arran
2001 - Scottish Opera
Stranraer, Wigtownshire
2001 - Scottish Opera
Dumfries
2001 - Scottish Opera
Linlithgow
2001 - Scottish Opera
St Andrews
2001 - Scottish Opera
Alloa
2001 - Scottish Opera
Helensburgh
2001 - Scottish Opera
Rothesay, Isle of Bute
2001 - Scottish Opera
Greenock
2001 - Scottish Opera
Musselburgh, East Lothian
2001 - Scottish Opera
Kelso
2001 - Scottish Opera
Lanark
2001 - Scottish Opera
Pitlochry
2002 - Scottish Opera
Dundee
2002 - Scottish Opera
Elgin, Moray
2002 - Scottish Opera
Galashiels
2002 - Scottish Opera
Ayr
2002 - Scottish Opera
Dunfermline
2002 - Scottish Opera
Stirling
2002 - Scottish Opera
Oban, Argyll
2004 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2004 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
2004 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2006 - Ellen Kent Productions
Edinburgh
2006 - Ellen Kent Productions
Aberdeen
2006 - Ellen Kent Productions
Dundee
2006 - Ellen Kent Productions
Glasgow
2009 - Tayside Opera
Dundee
2010 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2010 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2010 - Royal Opera, Covent Garden
Dundee
2010 - Royal Opera, Covent Garden
Falkirk
2010 - Royal Opera, Covent Garden
Glasgow
2010 - Royal Opera
Dundee
2010 - Royal Opera, Covent Garden
Kilmarnock
2010 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2010 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2010 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
2010 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
2010 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
2010 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
2010 - Perth Playhouse
Perth
2010 - Opera Bohemia
Edinburgh
2010 - Opera Bohemia
Kirkcaldy
2010 - Opera Bohemia
Glasgow
2011 - Opera Bohemia
St Andrews
2011 - Opera Bohemia
Banchory, Kincardineshire
2011 - Opera Bohemia
Oban, Argyll
2011 - Opera Bohemia
Strathpeffer
2011 - Opera Bohemia
Lossiemouth
2011 - Opera Bohemia
Greenock
2012 - Ellen Kent Productions
Aberdeen
2012 - Royal Opera
Aberdeen
2012 - Royal Opera
Edinburgh
2012 - Opera Bohemia
Lanark
2012 - Opera Bohemia
Dundee
2012 - Opera Bohemia
Linlithgow
2013 - Opera Bohemia
Crail
2013 - Opera Bohemia
Dumfries
2013 - Opera Bohemia
Ayr
2014 - Ellen Kent Productions
Edinburgh
2014 - Ellen Kent Productions
Glasgow
2014 - Metropolitan Opera
Dundee
2014 - Metropolitan Opera
Falkirk
2014 - Metropolitan Opera
Perth
2014 - Metropolitan Opera
Dunfermline
2014 - Metropolitan Opera
Galashiels
2014 - Metropolitan Opera
St Andrews
2014 - Metropolitan Opera
Aberdeen
2014 - Metropolitan Opera
Edinburgh
2014 - Metropolitan Opera
Glasgow
2014 - Haddo House Choral & Operatic Society
Ellon, Aberdeenshire
2014 - Royal Opera
Aberdeen
2014 - Opera Bohemia
Edinburgh
2014 - Opera Bohemia
Rutherglen
2015 - English Touring Opera
Perth
2016 - Swansea City Opera
Pitlochry
2016 - Edinburgh Grand Opera
Edinburgh
2017 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2016 - Opera à la Carte
Dumfries
2016 - Clyde Opera Group
Glasgow
2016 - Magnetic Opera
Edinburgh
2017 - Ellen Kent Productions
Glasgow
2017 - Ellen Kent Productions
Edinburgh
2017 - Ellen Kent Productions
Dundee
2017 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2017 - Heritage Opera
Ayr
2017 - Heritage Opera
Ayr
2017 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow
2017 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
2017 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
2017 - Scottish Opera
Aberdeen
2017 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2017 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2017 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
2017 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
2017 - Scottish Opera
Edinburgh
2017 - Scottish Opera
Inverness
2017 - OperaUpClose
St Andrews
2017 - Teatro Regio, Turin
Edinburgh
2017 - Opera Bohemia
Falkirk
2017 - Opera Bohemia
Forfar
2017 - Opera Bohemia
Boat of Garten
2018 - Royal Opera, Covent Garden
Aberdeen
2019 - Paisley Opera
Paisley
2020 - Ellen Kent Productions
Edinburgh
2020 - Ellen Kent Productions
Glasgow
2020 - Scottish Opera
Glasgow

England, UK - 13 entries

1975 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1984 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1988 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1988 - Scottish Opera
Liverpool
1989 - Scottish Opera
Oxford
1989 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1991 - Scottish Opera
Oxford
1991 - Scottish Opera
Bradford
1991 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1993 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
1997 - Scottish Opera
Newcastle-upon-Tyne
2013 - Opera Bohemia
Ely
2013 - Opera Bohemia
Honor Oak Park, London

Music
Giacomo Puccini (born Lucca, 22 December 1858; died Brussels, 29 November 1924)

Text
Giuseppe Giacosa & Luigi Illica

Source
Novel Scènes de la vie de bohème (1847-9) by Henri Murger (French 1822-1861).

Premières
First performance: Turin (Teatro Regio), 1 February 1896.
First UK performance: Manchester (Theatre Royal), 22 April 1897.
First performance in Scotland: Glasgow (Theatre Royal), 30 April 1897.
Scottish Opera première: Glasgow (King’s Theatre), 11 May 1967.

Background
Puccini is the only Italian opera composer after Verdi to have established a consistent pattern of producing more than one or two enduringly successful works. His family was a musical one stretching back several generations as composers of church music. However he quickly decided that his own future lay with opera. His first two attempts were crippled by inadequate texts. His third, Manon Lescaut, eventually found a text that was reasonably satisfactory, but only after he had used the services of half-a-dozen librettists, including his publisher. For La Bohème he at last found a pair of collaborators willing and able to do as he required, and the result was a trio of the most popular operas performed today. After Tosca and Madama Butterfly his search for collaborators began again, and he slowed his rate of production. He completed two more full-length works and a triple-bill of one-act pieces. He died with his final opera, Turandot, still incomplete.

Characters
Rodolfo, a poet (tenor)
Marcello, a painter (baritone)
Colline, a philosopher (bass)
Schaunard, a musician (baritone)
Benoit, a landlord (bass)
Mimì, a seamstress (soprano)
Musetta, a grisette (soprano)
Alcindoro, a state councillor (bass)

Plot Summary
The setting is Paris in the 1840s. The opera opens on Christmas Eve in the garret occupied by four impoverished students, showing their wretched but cheerful lifestyle. Schaunard, having earned some money, brings food and wine as well as fuel. They decide to eat at the Café Momus. Rodolfo is left behind, intent on finishing a poem. He is joined by Mimì, and invites her to the café.

The four students and Mimì enjoy their supper, surrounded by pre-Christmas activity on the part of the local people. Musetta, an old flame of Marcello’s comes in with her rich protector, Alcindoro. He is sent off on an errand by her so that she can make up with Marcello, and by the time he returns the sextet have eaten up and departed, leaving him to pay the bill.

The rest of the opera concentrates on the emotional lives of the two pairs. Marcello and Musetta maintain their stormy relationship. Mimì and Rodolfo split up, but are reconciled before Mimì dies from consumption.

RECORDINGS

DECCA (2 CDs) Sung in Italian Recorded 1998
Conductor: Riccardo Chailly
La Scala Orchestra
Angela Gheorghiu (Mimì), Roberto Alagna (Rodolfo), Simon Keenlyside (Marcello).

This is one of the best of recent recordings. Everything Chailly does seems entirely natural. His singers all fit this approach with no weak link. Other singers, all excellent, include Elisabetta Scano (Musetta), Roberto de Candia (Schaunard), and Ildebrando d’Arcangelo (Colline).

 

EMI (2 CDs) Sung in Italian Recorded 1995

Conductor: Antonio Pappano
Philharmonia Orchestra
Leontina Vaduva (Mimì), Roberto Alagna (Rodolfo), Thomas Hampson (Marcello).

There is little to choose between this and the Chailly set. The supporting cast includes Simon Keenlyside (Schaunard), Samuel Ramey (Colline), and Ruth Ann Swenson (Musetta).

 

 

Sung in Italian Recorded 1956

 

Conductor: Sir Thomas Beecham
RCA Victor Orchestra
Victoria de los Angeles (Mimì), Jussi Björling (Rodolfo), Robert Merrill (Marcello).

This recording remains a classic in spite of its age. The performances of Mimì and Rodolfo are simply glorious. Beecham interprets the score with great freshness even if some of his speeds seem unusually slow. John Reardon and Giorgio Tozzi are excellent as Schaunard and Colline. However, Lucine Amara is a bit shrill as Musetta, and the recording is clearly not quite up to modern standards.

 

NVC ARTS (1 DVD) Sung in Italian Recorded 1982

Conductor: Lamberto Gardelli
Orchestra of Royal Opera House, Covent Garden
Director: John Copley. Designer: Julia Trevelyan Oman
Ileana Cotrubas (Mimì), Neil Shicoff (Rodolfo), Thomas Allen (Marcello).

John Copley’s 1974 production in solidly realistic designs by Julia Trevelyan Oman, is still revived regularly even after thirty years – mind you, the previous Covent Garden staging lasted more than seventy years, including performances by Caruso and Melba. The principals, though recognised around the world as interpreters of these roles, did not otherwise record them, and they are particularly good and subtle actors. Marilyn Zschau, John Rawnsley and Gwynne Howell are just as good as the singers of the larger roles.

The Cast

Alcindoro
 a wealthy follower of Musetta
Benoit
 the students' landlord
Colline
 a philosopher
Custom-house Sergeant
 
Marcello
 a painter
Mimì
 a seamstress
Musetta
 a grisette
Official
 
Parpignol
 a toy vendor
Rodolfo
 a poet
Schaunard
 a musician

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