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La bohème Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)

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.

In short

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.

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 of La bohème (2014).

in the press

"Andrews’ Bohème is engagingly refreshing. His characters in their contemporary setting are timelessly human, so that you realise, as if for the first time, that they are actually just like us. For Puccini, that works wonderfully well."

NRC Handelsblad over La bohème (2014)

Team, Cast and Chorus

Musical director 
Andrea Battistoni
Stage director 
Benedict Andrews
Johannes Schütz
Victoria Behr
Jon Clark
Director of movement 
Ran Arthur Braun
Residentie Orchestra
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
Eleonora Buratto
Mattia Olivieri
Gianluca Buratto
Olga Kulchynska
Morschi Franz
Sergente dei doganieri 
Peter Arink
Un doganiere 
Harry Teeuwen
Un venditore ambulante 
Richard Prada


The music at the end of La bohème, when Mimi dies, is feverish and tragic. Yet the production also suggests hope and the cycle of life, as we see young children playing outside, while Mimi is dying. 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 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, among others, and made her debut at an early age as Musetta in La bohème. She has worked with conductors like Riccardo Muti, Stefano Montanari, Fabio Luisi and Zubin Mehta. Eleonora Buratto is one of today’s star singers of the Italian repertoire – from Jommelli to Verdi and Puccini.

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.



The Residentie Orkest 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. In 2017, the Residentie Orkest will be performing La bohème.

Co-produced with English National Opera