What to Expect from La Bohème
La Bohème, the passionate and timeless story of love among young artists in Paris, can stake its claim as the world’s most popular opera. It has a marvelous ability to make a powerful first impression (even to those new to opera) and to reveal unsuspected treasures after dozens of hearings. At first glance, La Bohème is the definitive depiction of the joys and sorrows of love and loss; on closer inspection, it reveals the deep emotional significance hidden in the trivial things (a bonnet, an old overcoat, a chance meeting with a neighbor) that make up our everyday lives.
A magnificent cast comes together for Franco Zeffirelli’s iconic and lush production of the Puccini favorite. The exciting young conductor Nicola Luisotti presides over a glorious vocal ensemble led by the mesmerizing Romanian soprano, Angela Gheorghiu who sings opposite the golden-toned tenor Ramón Vargas as her lover, Rodolfo.
In La Bohème, students will meet some of the most famous characters in world literature—Puccini’s “bohemian” crew. There’s Rodolfo, the writer, and Marcello, the painter. There’s delicate, sensitive Mimì and brassy, seductive Musetta. Puccini so clearly paints an arty Parisian underworld, a world of garrets, cafés and nights of ribaldry, that these depictions persist to this day. This guide is designed to help students appreciate both the sentiment and the craft that distinguish La Bohème. With a variety of experiences aimed at enhancing enjoyment of the Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD transmission, the guide seeks to enrich young people’s understanding not only of Puccini’s characters, setting and song, but also of some of the tricks of the composer’s trade.
Two full-length activities, designed to support your ongoing curriculum.
Three "Musical Highlights" designed to focus briefly on bits of music from La Bohème to cultivate familiarity with the work.
Performance Activities for students to enjoy during the Metropolitan Opera HD transmission.
A post-transmission activity, integrating the Live in HD experience into students' wider views of the performing arts.
La Bohème at the Met
This guide is designed to help students appreciate both the sentiment and the craft that distinguish La Bohème. With a variety of experiences aimed at enhancing enjoyment of the Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD transmission, the guide seeks to enrich young people’s understanding not only of Puccini’s characters, setting and song, but also of some of the tricks of the composer’s trade.
The activities in this guide address several aspects of La Bohème:
• Puccini’s use of vocal and instrumental music to depict his central characters and their relationship
• The recurrence of musical themes in the opera
• The opera as a unified work of art, involving a wide range of creative decisions by the composer, the librettist, and the artists of the Metropolitan Opera
The guide seeks not only to acquaint students with La Bohème, but also to encourage them to think more broadly about opera—and the performing arts in general—as a means of personal and philosophical expression. Little prior knowledge is required for the activities.
The synopsis can be found here.