January 18, 19, 23, & 25, 2020
Before the Broadway blockbuster Rent, Puccini brought the starving artist trope to exquisite life in La Bohème. Jonathan Larson’s musical about artists, squatting in squalor, was inspired by his love for Puccini’s opera. The characters in Rent are dying from AIDS. In La Bohème, it’s tuberculosis, the scourge of the 19th century.
Puccini created characters his audience could identify with. The young bohemians in Paris’s Latin Quarter in the mid-1800s were committed to their art, even if pursuing it meant living in poverty.
La Bohème offers a sympathetic, sentimental portrait of youthful optimism – even in the face of true tragedy. In the realm of love stories, nothing holds a candle to La Bohème.