OPERA REVIEW: No happy ending in tale of Parisian tragedy
La Boheme, Royal Opera House Live, South Holland Centre, Spalding
Actress, novelist, musician and broadcaster Clemency Burton-Hill, host of the latest Royal Opera House Live performance beamed to Spalding on Tuesday night, described La Boheme as “tales of friends and fellowship, love and loss”.
Giacomo Puccini’s enduring opera, with central characters Rodolfo (American tenor Michael Fabiano) and Mimi (Australian soprano Nicole Car), was reimagined by director Richard Jones as a fable about everyday life that could happen anywhere.
In this case, the setting is 1830s Paris where poet Rodolfo is living in poverty with poor artist Marcello (Polish baritone Mariusz Kwiecien), musician Schaunard and philisopher Colline.
The four friends start a light-hearted but crude conversation about sex and relationships before Rodolfo is dealt a doomed hand when a knock at the door brings seamstress Mimi to his door and into his life.
But their quickly established romance is to end tragically as Rodolfo discovers Mimi’s terminal tuberculosis which at one stage, almost tears the lovers apart.
The opera ends with Rodolfo and Mimi reunited where the action starts, in a cold Parisian flat where the seamstress dies in her lover’s arms.
Review by Winston Brown