Dutch National Opera presents

La bohème Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)

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Live like it’s your last day!

Duration 2:30

Breaks 1

By Giacomo Puccini

Language Italian

Surtitles Dutch and English

It is no coincidence that La bohème is one of the audience favourites. The moving love story can be told like a film, and Puccini’s music is compellingly beautiful.

Young Parisian artists
La bohème is about the impetuous loves and high ideals of poor young artists in Paris, who inspired Puccini to write some emotional passages. One famous aria in La bohème – in which you hear love between Rodolfo and Mimì bloom, as it were – is ‘Che gelida manina’. Juxtaposed with this tragic couple is the continually arguing comic couple, Marcello and Musetta.

Watch the trailer!
Why is the last scene of La bohème so touching?
'Che Gelida Manina' by tenor Sergey Romanovsky
Listen to 'O Soave Fanciulla'

La bohème: the story

The story takes place on Christmas Eve. The poet Rodolfo lives with the painter Marcello, the musician Schaunard and the philosopher Colline in a garret in Paris. They have no money and no fuel. Marcello, who is working on his painting Mar rosso (Red Sea), can’t hold his brush any more for the cold. Rodolfo sacrifices a play script to light the stove. During the darkest days of the year love sparks between Rodolfo and his neighbor Mimì.


Signing session

On Sunday 10 December, after the matinee performance, the soloist Sergey Romanovsky will be at the shop to sign your purchases. This signing session is only for people with tickets for the matinee performance.



Muziek: Giacomo Puccini
Libretto: Giuseppe Giacosa en Luigi Illica

The lively production by director Benedict Andrews revolves around the authenticity and modernity of the young protagonists. He approaches the characters in La bohème from close up and, as he says himself, turns them inside-out.

The Residentie Orkest The Hague is conducted by the promising young Italian composer Andrea Battistoni.

Mimì and Rodolfo are sung by a new vocal couple: Eleonora Buratto and Sergey Romanovsky (DNO debut).

Eleonora Buratto made a big impression as Corinna in Il viaggio a Reims (2015) and as La Contessa di Almaviva in Le nozze di Figaro (2016). The Italian soprano studied with Luciano Pavarotti and is one of today’s star singers of the Italian repertoire – from Jommelli to Verdi and Puccini. The young Russian tenor Sergey Romanovsky quickly established himself as one of the interesting voices of a generation, working with conductors such as Daniele Callegari, Michele Mariotti, Christophe Rousset and Alberto Zedda.

Thomas Oliemans recently with DNO: Robbert in Laika, Vater in Hänsel und Gretel and Lescaut in Manon Lescaut, is returning as Schaunard, alongside Olga Kulchynska (DNO debut) as Musetta.

The Italian baritone Mattia Olivieri, who has already sung the roles of both Marcello and Schaunard regularly in leading international opera houses, is making his debut with Dutch National Opera.

Benedict Andrews


BENEDICT ANDREWS (director) is one of the most renowned Australian directors of his generation. He is known for his radical versions of masterpieces by Shakespeare, Chekhov and Tennessee Williams, and for his stagings of contemporary plays.

Andrea Battistoni


ANDREA BATTISTONI (musical director) is a young Italian conductor from Verona, and is one of the most talented conductors of his generation. He trained as a cellist at the Conservatorio di Musica in Verona, whilst also studying composition and orchestral conducting with Ennio Nicotra, Gabriele Ferro and Gianandrea Noseda.


The Residentie Orkest The Hague has been around for over 100 years and is regarded as one of the renowned symphony orchestras of the Netherlands. The orchestra performs at the Zuiderstrandtheater (Scheveningen) and at pop temple Paard van Troje, as well as at other major venues in the Netherlands and abroad. The resident conductors are Jan-Willem de Vriend and Nicholas Collon. Recent DNO productions: The nightingale and other short fables, The gambler, L’étoile, Dialogues des Carmélites and The New Prince

Nieuw Vocaal Amsterdam (NVA) started in 2009 as Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor, and is a classical singing institute with specialization in opera, open to all children and young people starting at 4 years old. Since 2016 NVA is the regular children’s choir partner of Dutch National Opera. This season will include La bohème and Das Floss der Medusa. The students of NVA have sung under the baton of maestros Mariss Jansons, Marks Stenz, Ed Spanjaard, Ton Koopman, Ingo Metzmacher and many others.

Team, Cast and Chorus

Musical director: 
Andrea Battistoni
Stage director : 
Benedict Andrews
Revival director: 
Astrid van den Akker
Johannes Schütz
Costumes : 
Victoria Behr
Lighting : 
Jon Clark
Director of movement: 
Ran Arthur Braun
Orchestra : 
Residentie Orchestra
Chorus : 
Chorus of Dutch National Opera
Rehearsal director: 
Ching-Lien Wu
Children's Choir : 
Nieuw Amsterdams Kinderkoor
Rehearsal director : 
Caro Kindt
Sergey Romanovsky
Thomas Oliemans
Matteo Peirone
Mimì : 
Eleonora Buratto
Marcello : 
Mattia Olivieri
Gianluca Buratto
Musetta : 
Olga Kulchynska
Morschi Franz
Sergente dei doganieri : 
Peter Arink
Un doganiere : 
Harry Teeuwen
Un venditore ambulante : 
Richard Prada

Co-produced with English National Opera

    Mon 13 Feb Trouw 2014

    ★★★★ 'In this festive month, DNO has a pearl of a production that will soon be sold out'.