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La bohème © DR / Palau de la Música catalana

Puccini La Bohème

The 20 February 2022
Palau de la Música - Barcelona

Puccini : La Bohème 120 mn

  • Orquestra NovAria Barcelona
  • Cor NovAria
  • Conductor
    Adolf Gassol
  • Performers
    Mimi: Sarah Zhai
    Rodolfo: Sergi Giménez
    Marcello: Joan Garcia Gomà
    Musetta: Laia Cladellas
    Colline: Antonio Fajardo
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Palau de la Música - Barcelona Location C/ Palau de la Música, 4-6 - 08003 Barcelona Espagne

The architect Lluis Domenech i Montaner is the father of Catalonian "Modernismo," and the Palau de la Music a Catalana is his masterpiece. Together with Gaudi, Domenech i Montaner is a representative of the mixture of nationalism and unbridled invention that characterizes turn-of-the-century art in Barcelona, the equivalent of, for example, the French and Belgian "Art Nouveau", the Austrian "Jugendstil" and the English "Modern Style".

In 1891, Lluis Millet and Amadeu Vives founded the Orfeô Català, a chorale that performs both the Catalonian popular repertoire and serious polyphonic music. The succès of the chorale was such that they asked Domenech i Montaner to design office space and a concert hall for them. Up to this day, the Palau, inaugurated in 1908, has marked Barcelonas musical history. Amidst the building's coloured mosaics and its countless floral motifs, the Catalomans came legion to hear their Orfeö perform Bach's ST. MATTHEW PASSION (Catalonian premiere in 1921) and Beethoven's MISSA SOLEMNIS (performed to commemorate the centennial of his death in 1927). To mark these events, sculptures and bus reliefs were added to the already exuberant decoration. In the building's smaller chamber music theatre, as well as in the larger 2000-seat hall, with its luminous and extravagant glass ceiling in the form of an inverted coupola, the century's most prestigious artists have come to perform.

In 1921, for example, during the famous performance of Bach's PASSION, Albert Schweitzer played the German organ that is part of the hall's hemicycle (unfortunately, this organ has been abandoned since being poorly restored in 1973). Much to the architect's credit, the Berlin Philharmonic under Karajan's baton, as well as artists such as Rubinstein, Oistrakh, and Menuhin, not to mention the famous Catalonian singers Montserrat Caballé and Victoria de Los Angeles (locally called "dels Angels"), have kept alive this extraordinary edifice, that could be visited as a museum.

Declared a historical monument in 1971. the Palau was restored and extended between 1982 and 1989. In 1991-92, Orfeö Catalä's centennial celebrations, Barcelona again established its position amongst the world's major theatres, for Giulini, Temirkanov, Colin Davis, Muti, Mehta, Barenboim, and several others came here to conduct the Philadelphia, Leningrad, Berlin, Montreal, Dresden and London symphony orchestras.

Palau de la Música

The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.


La Bohème


La bohème is a very popular opera in 4 acts enjoyed around the world.La bohème was composed by Giacomo Puccini from an Italian libretto, written by Luigi Illica and Guiseppe Giacosa. Since its first performance in 1896 this opera has become one of the most frequently performed and is rarely absent from an opera house somewhere in the world. La bohème has the distinction of having the only recording of a Puccini opera by its original conductor Toscanini. He made the recording 50 years after first conducting the opera at its premiere in Turin. 

Puccini's opera is a moving tale of young and tragic love set in the Latin Quarter of Paris in the early 19th C. It is centred around the garrets of struggling bohemians, where manuscripts are used as fuel to keep them warm and rent goes unpaid. Rodolfo and Mimi meet and fall in love but poverty and illness drive them apart until the end where she dies tragically in his arms.

Act 1
The artist Marcello and Rodolfo the writer and their friends try to keep warm and find enough money for food and rent. Unable to pay the rent they trick their landlord Benoit. When Rodolfo's friends leave for a cafe, he remains behind to write, but is disturbed by a neighbour, Mimi, who is looking for a light for her candle. Rodolfo's candle is also blown out and in the dark they start talking about their dreams, beginning to fall in love.

Act 2
Rodolfo takes Mimi to the cafe and introduces her to his friends. Musetta, a former girlfriend of Marcello's, makes a noisy entrance with her wealthy new lover, Alcindoro. Musetta does her best to regain Marcello's attention, eventually sending Alcindoro away. The group charge their food and drink to Alcindoro's account. A procession of soldiers marches by the cafe and the group of bohemians fall in behind them.

Act 3
Problems arise between the couple as Rodolfo pretends to be jealous and accuse Mimi of being unfaithful. She turns to Marcello for advice. Rodolfo arrives next and Mimi hides. Rodolfo tells Marcello that they must part as she is too fickle but Marcello does not believe this and Rodolfo confesses that he fears Mimi's cough will get worse if she lives in poverty with him. Mimi confronts him and they decide to stay together for a while longer. Meanwhile Marcello and Musetta quarrel noisily and part.

Act 4
Marcello and Rodolfo are now alone and lamenting their past loves. Musetta bursts in to say that a weak and ill Mimi is downstairs. Rodolfo carries her in and Musetta sends Marcello to sell her jewellery to buy medicine. As Rodolfo and Mimi recall their past love and time together she is overtaken with a fit of coughing and becomes unconscious. The opera ends with Rodolfo despairingly calling her name.

Rodolfo - an impoverished writer.
Marcello - his friend, an impoverished artist.
Mimi - Rodolfo's girlfriend.
Musetta - Marcello's girlfriend.
Benoit - their landlord.
Alcindoro - Musetta's rich lover.

Palau de la Catalana - Sala de Concerts @ A. Bofill

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