Met Live in HD: La Bohème
Live Broadcasts | 02/24/2018 | 12:30PM
Run Time: 2 hours, 55 minutes
Live Performance Broadcast
Sung in: Italian
The world’s most popular opera returns in Franco Zeffirelli’s classic production, with a series of exciting casts. Sonya Yoncheva stars in the role of the fragile Mimì, with Michael Fabiano as the poet Rodolfo. Marco Armiliato conducts.
Production a gift of Mrs. Donald D. Harrington
About the Met Live in HD:
In December 2006, The Metropolitan Opera launched The Met Live in HD, a series of performance transmissions shown live in high definition in movie theaters around the world. The series expanded from an initial six transmissions to ten in the 2014-15 season and today reaches more than 2,000 venues in 70 countries across six continents. The Live in HD performances are later also shown on public television, and a number of them have been released on DVD. In partnership with the New York City Department of Education and the Metropolitan Opera Guild, the Met has developed a nationwide program for students to attend Live in HD transmissions for free in their schools. The Paramount began broadcasting during the in 2008-09 season and is pleased to continue to present this series for the community.
With more than 1200 performances, La Bohème is the most frequently staged opera at the Met. The very first performances, on tour in Los Angeles in 1900, were among the most remarkable the work has had: at the conclusion of Act IV, soprano Nelli Melba—following her onstage death as Mimì—reappeared in front of the curtain to sing the mad scene from Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor. The role of Lucia was one of Melba’s specialties, and her portrayal helped secure that opera’s popularity.
The libretto sets the action in Paris, circa 1830. This is not a random setting, but rather reflects the issues and concerns of a particular time when, following the upheavals of revolution and war, French artists had lost their traditional support base of aristocracy and church. The story centers on self-conscious youth at odds with mainstream society—a Bohemian ambience that is clearly recognizable in any modern urban center. La Bohème captures this ethos in its earliest days.
Lyrical and touchingly beautiful, the score of La Bohème exerts an immediate emotional pull. Many of its most memorable melodies are built incrementally, with small intervals between the notes that carry the listener with them on their lyrical path. This is a distinct contrast to the grand leaps and dives that earlier operas often depended on for emotional effect. La Bohème’s melodic structure perfectly captures the “small people” (as Puccini called them) of the drama and the details of everyday life.