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Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème

release date 20 April '12

12A rated certificate
what's the story

CinemaLive, Opera Australia and Sydney Opera House are excited to bring Opera Australia's new production of Puccini's La bohème, captured live at Sydney Opera House in high definition to a cinema near you.

If ever there was a love story to break your heart, this is it. Gale Edwards' visionary new production of Puccini's La bohème stars powerhouse soprano Takesha Meshé Kizart and award-winning tenor Ji-Min Park alongside glamorous Opera Australia star Taryn Fiebig, hunky Andrew Jones and rising star Shane Lorenvec along with a stellar cast of other OA talents. Gale Edwards' vision sees Puccini's bohemians transported to Berlin in 1929, where friends, lovers and artists collide in a city on the brink of change. Truly spectacular, this new production shows just how compelling opera can be.

"La boheme is a superb night's entertainment... crazy-beautiful... 5 stars" Herald Sun, 15.5.11

This new staging of La bohème is set in Berlin in 1929 - the final throes of the Weimar Republic, 100 years after Puccini's original setting. Gale Edwards explains, “we chose to set this production in a beautiful yet political world, a world where one can die in the street, where there is no social security, a world teetering on the edge”.

Puccini's La bohème is an operatic best seller, ranking with Madama Butterfly as the most frequently performed opera today. In spite of its popularity it is, in its own way, revolutionary, taking the spotlight off the kings, queens, warriors and heroes of nineteenth-century opera to focus on more realistic subjects. It's the story of a group of young friends - a poet, a writer, a composer and an artist - living in poverty but believing in love. Romance blossoms between the poet Rodolfo and seamstress Mimì, inspiring some of the most touching music ever written.

In Gale Edward's new production, the influences of Hollywood can be seen in its undeniable glamour, but the impending doom of a world on the brink of disaster also gives it a fragile quality. Here, the glitter of the Spiegeltent provides a decadent veneer over the hand-to-mouth existence of the era. Café Momus becomes a cabaret joint, all mirrored panels and carnival colours, populated by characters inspired by the paintings of Otto Dix and George Grosz.

director:  Gale Edwards
film cast:  David Parkin, Ji-Min Park, José Carbó, Shane Lowrencev, Takesha Meshé Kizart
certificate:  12A
distributor:  Cinemalive
running time:  133 Mins

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