La Bohème

Intro

  • / 1 intermission
  • / Main House / Opera
  • Performed in Italian/ Texted in English and Norwegian

“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”, wrote Norwegian daily VG’s reviewer following the premiere of director Stefan Herheim’s La bohème in 2012. Using the stage sets and costumes from the Norwegian National Opera’s 1963 production, Herheim plays on our expectations of this classic opera yet at the same time challenges them. Herheim’s direction places the story firmly in our own times while inviting the audience to reflect over their own relation to tradition.

    Synopsis

    First picture

    A studio flat in Paris on Christmas Eve
    The poet Rodolfo and the painter Marcello are hungry and cold. Withno firewood, Rodolfo burns his own drama manuscript, but the stovefails to heat the room. The philosopher Colline arrives disgruntled,as it appears they are heading for a sad Christmas. Then the musicianSchaunard arrives with food, wine and money. The four of them preparea festive meal, which is disrupted when the landlord Benoitknocks on the door to demand the rent. The Bohemians cleverlydivert his attention, eventually send him on his way and then departto celebrate Christmas Eve in the Latin Quarter. Rodolfo sends hisfriends along first as he wants to finish working on a newspaper article.Hardly has he sat down before there is a knock at the door. Thistime it is a young woman, Mimì, who asks him to light her candle,which has gone out. She is clearly ill, so Rodolfo invites her to sit bythe fire and offers her wine. Mimì does not wish to disturb him, lightsher candle and is about to leave when she discovers that she has losther key. In the draft from the door both the candles are extinguished,and while looking for the key in the moonlight their hands meet.Rodolfo sees the most beautiful poetry he has ever seen in her paleface and asks Mimì to tell him about herself. Her real name is Lucia,she lives in a simple room, lives quietly and loves things that makelife poetic. The poet declares his love for her, and together they goout into the clear starry night.

    Second picture

    The same evening in the Latin Quarter in Café Momus
    The Bohemians are attracted by the many temptations in the Christmasmarket which is teeming with people. Rodolfo presents Mimì tohis friends. With careful scepticism they accept her into their circleand together they all go to the café. There Musetta makes a fabulousentrance as the new mistress of the rich gentleman Alcindoro. Theysit at the table next to the Bohemians. Indignantly, Marcello speaksloudly about the infamous frivolity of Musetta, making it clear to oneand all that she has broken his heart. However, Musetta does not hidethat fact that she still loves Marcello and wants him back, if only hecould swallow his wounded pride. She therefore treats Alcindoro likea lapdog until he leaves the café, and then throws herself in the armsof Marcello. Soldiers are marching by on their way to change theguard, and the people rush to jubilantly march after them. The Bohemianstake the opportunity to sneak away without paying the bill.

    Third picture

    A cold winter morning at the toll gate «La barrièred`Enfer»
    Rodolfo has lost his faith in Mimì. He avoids her and spends the nightin the inn where Marcello and Musetta make their living in the winter.Despairingly, Mimì comes to see Marcello and asks his advice. He promisesher to find out what is bothering Rodolfo and sends her home.Mimì hides, however, and overhears their conversation. Rodolfo accusesMimì of being flirtatious and unfaithful. But Marcello sees throughthis and demands the real story. In tears Rodolfo admits his helplessness.He is avoiding Mimì because he cannot stand seeing how theincurable illness is consuming her. Mimì’s presence is then revealedand Rodolfo now tries to make light of the fear he just expressed.Mimì understands why and starts to leave to make it simpler for him.But Rodolfo holds her back, and while Musetta and Marcello quarreland leave each other, they decide to be together until the arrival ofspring: Loneliness in the winter is worse than death.

    Fourth picture

    A spring day in the studio flat
    While Mimì and Musetta have taken up with others and are being courted by rich suitors, Rodolfo and Marcello are left bemoaning the loss of their loves. Schaunard and Colline arrivewith a loaf of bread and a herring, and the Bohemians prepare a Spartan meal spiced with gallows humour. Their playfulnessbecomes wilder until Musetta suddenly enters, followed byMimì, who she has found severely weakened in the street on herway to the studio. Only in the arms of Rodolfo does Mimì feel at home, and while Musetta and the others leave to fetch a doctor,she pledges her eternal love for him. Together they recall their first meeting. The others return reporting that the doctor is on his way. However, Mimì dies and in the reflection of her poeticface Rodolfo recognizes his loss.

    Video

    Se opp, verden – her er en oppsetning som operahus kommer til å stå i kø for.
    NRKs Ragnhild Veire

    Herheims aller fineste til nå.

    "Stefan Herheim løfter «La Boheme» opp på et nytt og eksistensielt nivå og setter både handlingen og musikken i et nytt lys. Gratulerer.”

    Main roles

    • Marcello

      Vasily Ladyuk
      Playing the following days
      • 27. Jan 2014
      • 10. Feb 2014
      • 12. Feb 2014
      • 14. Feb 2014
      • 21. Feb 2014
      • 27. Feb 2014
      Yngve Søberg
      Playing the following days
      • 29. Jan 2014
      • 16. Feb 2014
      • 24. Feb 2014
      • 26. Feb 2014
      • 1. Mar 2014
    • Mimì

      Playing the following days
      • 27. Jan 2014
      • 10. Feb 2014
      • 14. Feb 2014
      • 27. Feb 2014
      Mariann Fjeld Solberg
      Playing the following days
      • 29. Jan 2014
      • 12. Feb 2014
      • 16. Feb 2014
      • 21. Feb 2014
      • 24. Feb 2014
      • 26. Feb 2014
      • 1. Mar 2014
    • Rodolfo

      Diego Torre
      Playing the following days
      • 27. Jan 2014
      • 10. Feb 2014
      • 12. Feb 2014
      • 14. Feb 2014
      • 21. Feb 2014
      • 27. Feb 2014
      Daniel Johansson
      Playing the following days
      • 29. Jan 2014
      • 16. Feb 2014
      • 24. Feb 2014
      • 26. Feb 2014
      • 1. Mar 2014