Opera in four pictures - 1896
Composer Giacomo Puccini · Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica
In Italian with English and German subtitles
Thursday, 03. December 2020
Price: 14,90 Euro
Tickets for Video-on-Demand can be purchased here.To List of Performances
Musikalische Leitung: Asher Fisch
Inszenierung: Otto Schenk
Bühne und Kostüme: Rudolf Heinrich
Chöre: Stellario Fagone
Mimì: Rachel Willis-Sørensen
Musetta: Mirjam Mesak
Rodolfo: Jonas Kaufmann
Marcello: Andrei Zhilikhovsky
Schaunard: Sean Michael Plumb
Colline: Tareq Nazmi
Parpignol: Andres Agudelo
Benoît: Christian Rieger
Alcindoro: Karel Martin Ludvik
Ein Zöllner: Christian Valle
Sergeant der Zollwache: Oğulcan Yilmaz
Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper
Kinderchor der Bayerischen Staatsoper
Heartache, heartbreak, the whole nine yards – four starving artists – love in a shabby attic loft – the swank boulevards where people live life with a capital "L", but Mimi is destined to die. Her tiny hand: ice cold! Otto Schenk's incredibly opulent, eternally valid production continues to fascinate audiences. All of Paris is magically transported onto the stage here. So beautiful you could cry!
Poet Rodolfo and painter Marcello are sitting in their cold garret on Christmas Eve, freezing, hungry and flat broke as usual. To warm up the room just a little, Rodolfo burns a play script he had been working on. Downtrodden, Colline the philosopher returns home after finding the pawnshop closed for the holidays. Musician Schaunard, the final member of this quartet of friends, has been a bit more successful. He brings along food, wine and some money. The initially glum mood rapidly turns into one of great exuberance.
This, however, is rapidly interrupted by the arrival of the landlord Benoit, who demands his back rent. The friends give him some wine, causing the old man to forget the rent in his alcoholic haze and begin recounting tales of his romantic adventures. In a spasm of feigned outrage over the old man's "immorality" the four friends throw him out. Now they decide to continue partying at the Café "Momus". Only Rodolfo remains behind to complete a magazine article he is writing. At this point Mimí, their neighbor, appears and asks if she might relight her candle, which the wind had blown out. As Mimí is about to go, she loses the key to her room. Rodolfo, who has fallen in love with her, finds the key but doesn't tell Mimí. They tell one another the story of their lives and confess their love for one another.
In the Quartier Latin, outside the Café "Momus", colorful activity dominates the scene. Musetta, Marcello's former lover, show up with an elderly new admirer by the name of Alcindoro. When Musetta and Marcello lay eyes on one another again, their former love reawakens. Claiming to need a new pair of shoes that very minute, Musetta gets rid of her companion. The arrival of guard draws a huge crowd to the square. The friends take advantage of the confusion to disappear with the girl. When Alcindoro returns he has no alternative but to pick up the bill for everybody.
On a cold winter morning, Mimí comes to an inn on the edge of Paris to talk to Marcello, who is painting there. She is tortured by a terrible fit of coughing. She asks Marcello to help her, because Rodolfo has walked out on her, claiming jealousy. Rodolfo, however, tells his friend the real reason for what he did. He has left Mimí because he knows she is incurably ill, and he is too poor to look after her properly. Mimí, who has been listening in to this conversation steps out of her hiding place. Now she knows that she is doomed to die, and sadly bids him farewell. Marcello has meanwhile gotten into an argument with Musetta, who finally goes running off in a fury.
Back in the garret, Rodolfo and Marcello are together again. They try to work, struggling to conceal their longing for Mimí and Musetta. Schaunard and Colline serve up a sparse meal, which nevertheless turns into some fairly merry pranks. Then Musetta appears with the terminally ill Mimí. All attempts to save her are in vain. While Rodolfo gathers new hope as they wait for the doctor, the friends notice that Mimí has already passed away. As it becomes clear to Rodolfo, he hurls himself despondently on the corpse of his beloved.
English translation by Donald Arthur
© Bayerische Staatsoper
Premiere of Giacomo Puccini's "La bohème" on June 14, 1969 in the Nationaltheater