Apr 04 Thu

La Bohème

Thursday Thru Tuesday
April 04 - 09 2024

Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall

Concert Timings:
April 4, 2024, 8:00 pm
April 6, 2024, 8:00 pm
April 9, 2024, 8:00 pm

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Presenting Sponsor:

Everything great opera should have: gorgeous music, high emotion, and grand tragedy! Carefree Bohemians and star-struck lovers—penniless, hungry and ill—fill the concert hall with their astonishing voices as Puccini’s heart-rending tale unfolds.

Best Availability and Pricing Tuesday Night!

Puccini: La Bohème
Semi-staged opera in Italian with English subtitles.

Preview Talk at 7 p.m. with KUSC midday host Alan Chapman

La Bohème, a Director’s Notes
By Omer Ben Seadia

Parisian Bohemia in the nineteenth century wasn’t just a lifestyle choice, it wasn’t just a fashion choice, it was a revolution. A revolution led by young, idealistic artists. Young men and women who sought to challenge the Old Regime, the conventions of society and bourgeois life. They wanted to make art, live life to its fullest, thumb their noses at the conventions of society, and in the process, fight to make a new world order.

The Bohemians were real people―people whom Henry Murger (the author of the original novel the opera is based on) knew and loved. Their lives were not just about ideology, they were also about survival. Whether out of choice or necessity, these young men and women struggled to break the class barriers that the bourgeois had established. Some struggled to make a living, some struggled to fit into the social constructs, and some simply refused to conform.

As Murger’s friends morphed into operatic characters, much attention was focused on their romantic entanglements. The romantic nature of Puccini’s writing served to heighten that aspect even more. Therefore, La Bohème allows us an honest examining of love and relationships. The first and most notable is the starry-eyed love of Mimi and Rodolfo. The second is the passionate and tumultuous love of Musetta and Marcello. The third, and one that is typically over-looked, is the brotherly love of the four artists-in-arms. At first glance, it seems that Mimi and Rodolfo are the ideal couple, the ones that have it all figured out. They fall in love at first glance and complement each other with grand gestures of love. Musetta and Marcello, on the other hand, never miss an opportunity to bicker, to taunt and tease each other and drive each other crazy. As the story unfolds and the circumstances of Bohemia weigh down on them, we see each of the relationships tested, bringing them to a more mature understanding of love and friendship.

In the end, ideals can bear a heavy cost. The consequence of poverty and illness are not romantic, and in reality, many young idealists didn’t live to see spring emerge from the cold winter. At the end of the opera, as Rodolfo says goodbye to Mimi, he is in fact bidding farewell to his youth and the joyful days of Bohemia that will never return. While Mimi and Rodolfo must part, Marcello and Musetta may go on driving each other wild. And the four friends? Who knows. Perhaps they will remain friends for the rest of their lives, reminiscing about the joyous days of their carefree youth. Or perhaps they will all go their separate ways. It doesn’t actually matter. This was all a moment in time, an intense part of life they’ll never have back. They’ll think back on it, as we all do about the blundering blistering adventures, about the loves they’ve had and lost, and know that when it was good, there was nothing like it.

“Bohemia, bordered on the North by hope, work and gaiety, on the South by necessity and courage; on the West and East by slander and the hospital” (Henry Murger, Bohemian Life, 1894)

This concert is sponsored by:
Elizabeth Segerstrom, Honorary Producer 
Janet L. Curci
Haydee Mollura
Maria and Ray Francis, artist sponsors for Alisa Jordheim 
Isidore C. and Penny W. Myers Foundation
Opera Focus  

Download Program Notes

Adam Diegel, Rudolfo
Alisa Jordheim, Musetta
SeungHyeon Baek, Marcello
John Allen Nelson, Schaunard
Andrew Potter, Colline
Philip Cokorinos, Benoit/Alcindoro
Nicholas Preston, Parpignol
Shyheim Selvan Hinnant, Supernumerary
William Grundler, Supernumerary

Ryan Howell, scenic designer
Ryan Park, costume designer
Joe Beumer, lighting designer
Katherine Freer, video designer
Ronell Oliveri, makeup/wig designer

Read synopsis of the opera

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