The novel by Henry Mürger Scènes de la vie de Bohème inspired the story of Puccini's opera. The Latin quarter of Paris, in the beginning of the 1830's is home of numerous artists who live poorly but freely. Rodolfo is one of them, he is a poet who lives with his friends Marcello, a painter and Colline, a philosopher. On a cold Christmas Eve, their musician friend Schaunard comes along with provisions and they celebrate until Mimi, a dressmaker who lives next door knocks on the door to ask for a candle supposed to warm her up.
Rodolfo and Mimi immediately fall in love. As the freezing winter goes by, Mimi comes down with "consumption," or tuberculosis because of the squalid conditions in which they live. Although Rodolfo cannot afford the medicines for the woman he loves, they decide to stay together.
Giancarlo del Monaco's cinematic production for the Teatro Real in Madrid recreates the atmosphere of the "Paris bohème" thanks to a great attention to details and to "modest and little things." Del Monaco explains his choice of highlighting the protagonists' everyday lives in order to transmit the social and realistic dimension of this Romantic masterpiece.
Picture: Giancarlo del Monaco © Javier del Real
Jesús Lopez Cobos, Giancarlo del Monaco – Violeta Urmana (Santuzza), María Bayo (Nedda) – Teatro Real Madrid
Jesús López Cobos, Giancarlo del Monaco – Inva Mula (Mimi), Laura Giordano (Musetta) – Teatro Real Madrid