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27 November 2014
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December 2004
La bohème
La boheme Picture by Mike Hoban
La boheme Picture by Mike Hoban


Glyndebourne on Tour

The New Theatre

Tuesday 30th Nov - Sat 4th Dec 2004

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By Pei Ling Wong

La bohème is set in Paris, Christmas Eve. It is a story about four struggling artists who shared a flat, two love stories and one death. Rodolfo, the poet, met and fell in love with a seamstress, Mimì while Marcello, the painter, was reunited with his ex-lover, Musetto. Rodolfo and Mimì, with the intervention of Marcello, later decided to break up as Rodolfo is convinced that their poverty is worsening Mimì's illness. Mimì died peacefully in the end from her illness.

The adaptation of this 19th century opera to a modern day setting does not seem to stretch the story line at all but blends in naturally with the whole performance. The scenarios in the play can easily be visualized in real life. The four artist flat-mates - Rodolfo, Schaunard, Colline and Marcello - remind one of mischievous young men who shrewdly avoid paying the rent by tricking their landlord. The sweetness of the first dawn of love between Mimì and Rodolfo, who kindly 'gave fate a helping hand'. The way Musetto tries to attract her ex-lover's, Marcello, attention by exploiting her new rich lover.

The cast was also aptly selected, from Musetto who bursts with sex appeal, to Rodolfo whose every move and word demonstrated the Romeo he is, to the bear-haired Colline the philosopher, even down to the pot-bellied and easily swindled landlord.

A word must be put in for the orchestra which played beautifully under the direction of the new Glyndebourne on Tour Music Director, Edward Gardner.

All in all, this is definitely the one play for an opera night-out that does not involve excessive dressing up and is more close to home.

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