One of opera’s most popular and enduring classics, Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème, memorializes the ardent passions of young Bohemian artists struggling to love, create and survive in mid-19th century Paris.
Living together in a small Parisian garret, Rodolfo writes, Marcello paints, Schaunard composes and Colline philosophizes. When Rodolfo meets the delicate Mimì, he is immediately struck by her beauty and the two sing the famous duet, “O soave fanciulla” (“Oh lovely maiden”). Still, the passionate love of Rodolfo and Mimì struggles to survive the brutal and unforgiving realities of poverty.
Puccini’s opera ultimately honors that tragic struggle – the struggle to create, to love, to live the Bohemian life. For over one hundred years, audiences have shared the hopes, the joys and the passions of these young artists, celebrating the bohemians’ unyielding commitment to seizing each new day with fervor.
To commemorate the 125th anniversary of its premiere in Turin on February 1, 1896, the Teatro Regio held the most popular Puccini’s opera in an extraordinary staging, with the original costumes as designed by Adolf Hohenstein in 1896. The incredibly opulent set design by Paolo Gavazzeni and Piero Maranghi appeared exclusively for the recording.