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La Boheme

September 26 - October 19, 2024

...goes to the heart of Puccini's masterpiece while making you think about it afresh

The Guardian

Why See La Boheme?

Classical & Opera

Can love eclipse death?

Puccini's gift for writing emotional music is brought to the fore in La Boheme's tale of doomed love in poverty-stricken Paris. This powerfully popular opera returns for another revival of Jonathan Miller's lovingly intimate staging, whose 2009 opening night made broadcasting history when Sky Arts simultaneously screened live both the onstage action and the backstage excitement. Joshua Blue makes his ENO debut as Rodolpho, alongside Nadine Benjamin.

Jonathan Miller's powerful revival of Puccini's romantic tragedy has already been hailed by critics as a modern classic since premiering in 2009. The action takes place in the pre-WW2 era of 1930's bohemian Paris where the romance between a penniless poet and a seamstress gives Puccini full rein to unleash his most glorious music upon the audience.

Miller's staging is inspired by Brassai's evocative photographs of the Paris Left Bank in the 1930s, with the bohemian setting modernised to reflect the stark poverty of the day - Miller even cited film "Withnail and I" as his inspiration for the stark sets.

What is the story?

An opera in four parts, La Boheme is a tragic love-story that follows two young couples as they traverse love's stormy seas. Rodolfo, a poet, shares a garret with his Bohemian friends: Marcello, a painter, Colline, a philosopher and Schaunard, a musician. They scrape along working odd jobs, jovially making fun of their poverty while they pursue their dreams.

By chance, Rodolfo meets and falls in love with the fragile Mimi. After some months, Rodolfo claims his lover's fickleness as reason for their relationship woes, yet when pushed, he breaks down and admits his concern over her health and his inability to take care of her financially. Be sure to pack tissues as there is nary a dry eye in the house at the denouement of this sorrowful tale.

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Additional Information


Opening night: 26 September 2024


Suitable for ages 12+

Run time

Two hours and five minutes with one interval

Cast and Creative


Angel Blue - Mimi

David Butt Philip - Rodolfo

George von Bergen - Marcello

Andrew Shore - Benoit and Alcindoro


Conducted by Gianluca Marciano

Directed by Jonathan Miller

Revival Direction by Natascha Metherell

Design by Isabella Bywater

Lighting Design by Jean Kalman

Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica after Henri Murger

Translated by Amanda Holden

What you thought

1 reviews, average rating: (5.0 Stars)

5.0 star rating

Marianne Lloyd: “La Boheme”

This revival of the much loved La Boheme is definitely different, fresher.... more

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