“La Bohème”, by Puccini, is on view at the Théâtre du Capitole from November 26 to December 4, with a fine cast and a staging by the Barbe-Doucet duo.
To end the year on a high note, the Théâtre du Capitole invites us to rediscover one of the most popular operas in the Italian repertoire, “La Bohème” by Giacomo Puccini, under the direction of young Italian conductor Lorenzo Passerini. Created in 1849, this work has stood the test of time. The powerfully lyrical arias of La Bohème and the tragic passion of Mimi, a young worker condemned by an incurable illness, for Rodolfo, a penniless poet, will always find intimate resonances in the hearts of the spectators. The staging, the sets, the costumes of this new production of La Bohème are signed “Barbe & Doucet”. The Franco-Quebecois duo transposed the opera to Paris in the 1920s, near Montmartre. Village-like streets, where broke students and artists cohabit and a whole small people of titis struggling to earn a living.
“It was a flea market that inspired us for the prelude to the show. A young girl of today, suffering from cancer, contemplates objects in an antique dealer who is playing a record of La Bohème”, tell the directors Renaud Doucet and André Barbe. “She projects herself into the character of Mimi, very sick like her, imagines her living in Montmartre, during the Roaring Twenties. His dream brings back all the characters of Bohemia, in this Paris of the 1920s”.
Flashback to those years of cultural effervescence, joie de vivre, but also hardship, when artists lived their passions and their bohemian life passionately under the roofs of Paris…
“A story of love, friendship and mutual aid”
“We gave real roles to the singers of the Capitol. We can recognize figures like Picasso, Arletty, Cocteau, Gertrude Stein, Peggy Guggenheim, Braque, la Môme Bijou… They also embody the merchants, the inhabitants of Montmartre and the Latin Quarter. It is the relationship to illness, the desire to take advantage of the life of youth, which touches us in this opera. We can identify with this story of love, friendship and mutual aid. Puccini’s music is sublime, very moving and the voices are magnificent”.
The Italian composer has set to music the joy, the hopes, the disappointments of marginalized youth. Created in Scotland, this co-production of “La Bohème” is given for the first time in France, with two casts alternating to sing the roles of the four main protagonists: Mimi (the sopranos Vannina Santoni and Anaïs Constans), Rodolfo (the tenors Liparit Avetisyan and Azer Zada), Musette (Marie Perbost and Andreea Soare), Marcello (Mikhail Timoshenko and Jérôme Boutillier).