La Bohème and Giacomo Puccini
La Bohème has been considered as one of the most loved Italian operas of all time. This four act opera was composed by none other than Giacomo Puccini, over a libretto written by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica. On 1st of February, 1896, the opera premiered for the very first time at Teatro Regio. The conductor of the opera was Arturo Toscanini. Soon the opera became popular all across Italy and its productions hit the theatres across the world. Since then, La Bohème has become Italian opera repertory’s standard part and is also among the most frequently produced and performed operas all across the world.
Fifty years after Toscanini conducted La Bohème’s premiere in 1946, he presented its performance in collaboration with NCB Symphony Orchestra on the radio. Eventually, this performance was recorded and released on records and later on CDs. It was the only recorded version of the opera by the original conductor.
La Bohème in the Modern World
Throughout the early 20th century, the opera continued to spread and gain further popularity among the masses. By 1903, it was staged by Opera-Comique at least hundred times. The modernized version of La Bohème was produced in 1990 by Baz Luhrmann for Opera Australia. This production included modern supertitle translations. Almost a decade later, he restaged the opera once again, this time for Broadway and the production took away two Tony Awards. It was also honored with the special Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre Award.
In 1996, Rent the Musical was staged by Jonathan Larson, which was also based on La Bohème. Only, he changed the storyline a little according to the woes of the modern world, changing the tragedies faced by the main roles.
La Bohème and Annapolis Opera
The story of La Bohème revolves around the misfortunes of two lovers, Rodolfo and Mimi. Rodolfo is a writer, who is working on his latest piece and during the process falls in love with Mimi. Poverty-stricken, they try hard to make the ends meet, as Mimi wants to see Rodolfo’s latest work making big and help him in whatever way she can. However, what Rodolfo doesn’t know is that Mimi suffers from a fatal disease, most likely tuberculosis. The misunderstandings arise, and eventually tragedy strikes by the end of act four. This tragic tale of love is told through the heartfelt, moving voices of the opera singers.
La Bohème’s Annapolis Opera version is going to be a full staged production, rich with colorful costumes and classic sets. English supertitles, orchestra and chorus, everything that is required to make it a memorable event is going to be there.
Founded in 1972, Annapolis Opera was initially run by a group of local artists who got together through the Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre Youth Group. The mission behind the formation of the opera was to maintain as well as develop a professional opera company for the people and talent of Annapolis and the Anne Arundel County. The company was widely supported by the people of Annapolis. A performance space was offered by St. John’s College and U.S. Naval Academy. The company switched the stages until in 1979; the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts was formed. The company presents a main stage theatrical production every year, along with several of its other productions. This time it is staging La Bohème, the unforgettable tragic tale of Mimi and Rodolfo.