La Bohème

Giacomo Puccini
  • Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 7 pm
  • Century II Concert Hall

by Giacomo Puccini
An Opera in Four Acts
Sung in Italian with English supertitles

Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa
Based on the novel “Scènes de la vie Bohème” by Henri Murger
World Premiere: Teatro Regio Torino, Turin, Italy, February 1, 1896

Laura AlleyMartin Mázik
Stage DirectorConductor
Set DesignStivanello Costume Co., Inc.
Lighting DesignSean Roberson
Costume DesignStivanello Costume Co., Inc.
ChorusmasterBrian Stranghoner
Children’s ChorusmasterDaniel Snyder
Opera CoachCory Battey



  • Setting:

    The Latin Quarter, Paris, France, 1830

  • Act I: An attic apartment, Christmas Eve.

    Marcello, a painter, and Rodolfo, a poet, keep warm by burning Rodolfo’s manuscripts. Their friends, Colline and Schaunard, arrive with unexpected income, and they all depart to celebrate at Café Momus. Rodolfo stays behind to write, promising to join them later. A neighbor, Mimì, knocks at the door; her candle has gone out in the drafty stairwell, and she has dropped her key. After finding the key, Rodolfo invites her to accompany him to the café, and they leave arm-in-arm.

  • Act II: The square outside the Cafe Momus

    Rodolfo introduces Mimì to his friends, and they all order supper. Marcello’s former lover, Musetta, enters with the elderly Alcindoro and causes a scene as she tries to make Marcello jealous. She sends Alcindoro away on an errand and falls into Marcello’s arms. Soldiers march past, and the friends exit during the confusion, leaving Alcindoro to pay the bill when he returns.

  • Act III: The city gates at the edge of Paris, late February

    Mimì arrives in search of Marcello to confide she is considering leaving Rodolfo because of his jealousy. She hides quickly as Rodolfo leaves a tavern. Seeing Marcello, he admits that he has to leave Mimì – she is dying and needs a wealthy lover to care for her. In shock, Mimì reveals herself to say farewell, while Marcello runs into the tavern to investigate Musetta’s laughter. Marcello and Musetta argue and part in fury, but Mimì and Rodolfo decide to stay together until spring.

  • Act IV: Months later, in the attic apartment.

    Rodolfo and Marcello lament their solitude as Colline and Schaunard arrive with a meager meal. The friends make merry until Musetta bursts in; Mimì is downstairs, too weak to climb up. Rodolfo runs to help. Seeing Mimì’s condition, Marcello leaves to help Musetta sell her earrings for medicine, and Colline leaves to pawn his overcoat. Schaunard quietly departs to leave Mimì and Rodolfo together. Alone, they recall their first days together, but she is seized with coughing. Mimì slowly drifts into unconsciousness. Rodolfo, sensing something is wrong, tries to wake her and weeps as he realizes she has died.

  • To read more about the story and history of La bohèmeclick here.

The Cast

Creative Team

Rodolfo, a poet (tenor)Kirk Dougherty
Mimì, a seamstress (soprano)Zvetelina Vassileva
Marcello, a painter (baritone)Gustavo Feulien
Musetta, a singer (soprano)Julia Radosz
Schaunard, a musician (baritone)Benjamin Czarnota
Colline, a philosopher (bass)William Powers
Benoît, their landlord (bass)Samuel Ramey
Alcindoro, a state councillor (bass)Samuel Ramey
Parpignol, a toy vendor (tenor)Daniel Snyder *
A customs sergeant (bass)Charles Turley *
CHORUS: Children, Citizens, Students, Street Vendors, Musicians
* WGO Resident Artists    † WGO Young Artists