Salzburg Festival: La Bohème

[no certificate]

Austria 2012, 150 mins

One of the most frequently performed of all operas, Puccini’s La Bohème is based on the tales of Henri Murger, who memorialised the life of Parisian artists and bohemians in the serialised novel Scènes de la Vie de Bohème in the mid-19th century. In this strikingly cinematic opera, a succession of scenes, images and impressions record the friendship between four young Parisians: Rodolfo, a writer; Colline, a philosopher; Marcello, a painter; and Schaunard, a musician. In the midst of this vivacious but poverty-stricken artistic world, Rodolfo encounters the fragile seamstress Mimì. The two instantly fall in love, but Mimì’s failing health causes Rodolfo such suffering that she decides it would be better to leave him. Ultimately the lovers are briefly reunited, just in time for Mimì to die in Rodolfo’s arms.

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