|Original title:||La Bohème|
Poster from the year of the premiere
|Libretto :||Luigi Illica , Giuseppe Giacosa|
|Literary source:||Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger|
|Premiere:||February 1, 1896|
|Place of premiere:||Teatro Regio in Turin|
|Playing time:||approx. 1 hour 50 min|
|Place and time of the action:||Paris around 1830|
La Bohème [ labɔˈɛm ] is an opera in four pictures , composed by Giacomo Puccini . The libretto was written by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa based on the novel Les scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger . The world premiere took place in 1896 at the Teatro Regio in Turin under Arturo Toscanini . Despite bad reviews after the premiere, La Bohème became a global success. It belongs to the standard repertoire of many houses and is one of the most frequently performed operas in the world. La Bohème is close to verismo : it's about the life, suffering and love of ordinary people. It is the fourth of Puccini's twelve operas and is considered by many to be his masterpiece.
The opera takes place in Paris around 1830.
Location: in an attic
The poor artists Rodolfo, a poet, and Marcello, a painter, sit in their Parisian attic freezing in front of the cold stove on Christmas Eve. They have neither firewood nor anything to eat. In order to light the stove, at least for a short time, Rodolfo sacrifices one of his manuscripts. It burns quickly and the stove gets cold again. Her friend, the philosopher Colline, also comes home. He enters the stage disgruntled because his attempt to move a few belongings to the pawn shop failed because it is closed on Christmas Eve. Schaunard, a musician, came last in the attic. He is in a good mood because he has received a job and brings wine, something to eat, firewood and money. The four friends' mood improves and they decide to spend the evening in their regular café in the Latin Quarter. Then the landlord Benoît appears and interrupts the high-spirited mood by trying to collect the rent that has long been due. The poor artists know what to do and are on a ruse: They offer Benoît wine and engage him in a friendly conversation about its effect on women. The landlord feels flattered and starts to boast with wine. Now the conversation turns: the four artists reproach their landlord with feigned indignation for cheating on his wife, and finally throw him out of the attic. They happily decide to go to Café Momus in the Latin Quarter to celebrate. Rodolfo stays behind at first because he wants to finish an article, but promises to comply.
As Rodolfo, who is now alone in the apartment, goes to work, there is a knock on the door: Mimì, a woman in the hallway, comes in and asks him to light her candle that has gone out on the stairs. In Rodolfo's apartment, she briefly suffers from weakness and loses her key, which she later looks for together with Rodolfo. He doesn't want her to find the key too quickly, and when he blows out his candle, they both look together in the dark. Their hands touch, and Rodolfo, who is impressed by Mimì and finds the key but secretly puts it in his pocket, introduces himself and talks about himself (Arie Che gelida manina ). Thereupon Mimì also talks about her life and dreams (Aria Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì ), and the two get closer in a moment of togetherness (duet O soave fanciulla ). Finally, Mimì and Rodolfo follow the waiting friends to Café Momus.
Location: Quartier Latin - Café Momus
In the Latin Quarter there is an exuberant Christmas hustle and bustle. In the square in front of the café, the toy seller Parpignol always does a good deal at this time of year and can hardly withstand the onslaught of the many children. Rodolfo buys a pink bonnet for Mimì, which she has always wanted, as she later reveals. He introduces her to his friends and they celebrate happily together in Café Momus. Musetta, Marcello's former lover, has settled down at the next table. She is in the company of her new, rich and noticeably older admirer Alcindoro, of whom she is now tired of. Marcello can not resist Musetta's flirtation (Aria Quando m'en vò ), and when she realizes this, she sends Alcindoro to the shoemaker under a pretext. She, too, longs for Marcello, and they both come back together. Finally, the two couples, Schaunard and Colline, leave the Momus without paying. The surprised and cheated Alcindoro has to take over the bill after his return to the café.
Location: Barrière d'enfer, on the outskirts
Some time has passed since Christmas, and the two couples Rodolfo and Mimì as well as Marcello and Musetta have had changeable weeks. The latter live in an inn near the customs barrier on the outskirts. The painter Marcello decorates the walls of a cabaret with pictures and can earn a little money. Musetta occasionally appears as a singer and occasionally gives singing lessons to guests. Mimì is now very unhappy and goes to Marcello on this cold February morning to ask him for advice. She talks to him about Rodolfo's unfounded jealousy and the fact that he left her because of it. When Rodolfo unexpectedly appears, Mimì hides. From the overheard conversation between the two men, she learns the real motives of Rodolfo: He explains to Marcello that he still loves Mimì, but that she is very ill ( consumption ) and that he cannot help her because of his poverty. He hopes that she will find a wealthy suitor, one who can support her better and help her more than he can, and that's why he ended the relationship. Mimì, betrayed by a cough, leaves her hiding place and they embrace each other. With a heavy heart they decide to separate, and as a farewell Mimì gives Rodolfo the pink bonnet that he once bought her (Arie D'onde lieta uscì ). But because their love is too great, they don't want to part immediately, but only in spring, because:
“In winter, that's to die for! Lonely "
" in spring, the sun is our comrade! "
At the same time, Musetta and Marcello have a heated argument because of his usual jealousy, whereupon Musetta separates from her boyfriend again and they too say goodbye to each other (quartet Addio dolce svegliare alla mattina ).
Location: in the attic
A few months later, again in the attic, Rodolfo and Marcello try to go about their work. They do not quite succeed in this, both are discouraged and unhappy. They are lovesick and think back to the beautiful days with their loved ones, Mimì and Musetta, which they haven't heard from for a while (Aria O Mimì, tu più non torni ). Colline and Schaunard come into the attic and bring something to eat. The meal is sparse, but the four friends take it with humor, imagine that they have the most delicious dishes, and keep themselves happy with a dance and a mock duel with fire tongs and coal shovel.
A little later the situation changes: Musetta rushes breathlessly into the room and brings the terminally ill Mimì with her. She hardly makes it up the stairs on her own anymore, but would like to see Rodolfo again. Everyone takes care of Mimì, and Rodolfo prepares a place for his lover to lie down. As they urgently need money for medication, a doctor and a mustache that Mimì wanted, they all sacrifice their last possessions: Musetta decides to sell her jewelry, Colline does the same with his beloved coat, which has kept him for a long part of his life accompanied. He wistfully says goodbye to it before giving it to the pawnshop (Arie Vecchia zimarra, senti ). After the friends leave to get some money, Rodolfo and Mimì are left alone and remember their first meeting in the attic. Mimì takes the opportunity to assure Rodolfo of her love one last time (Aria Sono andati? Fingevo di dormire ), which Rodolfo replies. Finally, the friends return, and Mimì, weakened by tuberculosis, can enjoy the muff she brought with her for a moment before her life comes to an end and she dies. Rodolfo is the last to understand this and collapses. He expresses his infinite grief, and the opera ends with his screams:
"Mimì ... Mimì" .
Henri Murger's most famous work, Scènes de la vie de bohème , written between 1847 and 1849, which Puccini read in early 1893, served as a template . He was immediately enthusiastic and described the creation of the opera as follows:
“It was born on a rainy day when I had nothing to do and started reading a book I didn't know. The title was 'Scènes de la Vie de Bohème'. The book caught me in one fell swoop. I immediately felt at home in those surroundings of students and artists. Everything I looked for and love was in the book: the freshness, the youth, the passion, the happiness, the tears that I shed in silence, the love with its joys and sorrows. This is humanity, this is sensation, this is heart. And that is above all poetry, the divine poetry. I immediately said to myself: this is the ideal subject matter for an opera. "
Although Puccini decided to write an opera, he turned down an offer from Ruggero Leoncavallo , who presented him with a draft of a libretto based on Murger's model for setting. Puccini did not like the submitted libretto; it was too "literary" for him. After Leoncavallo decided to write the opera anyway, both were in competition, which ended their friendship.
The libretto was written by Giuseppe Giacosa , the man of letters , and Luigi Illica , the practitioner, together with Giacomo Puccini according to his wishes. The idea of a collaboration between these three, which first met while working on Manon Lescaut , goes back to Giulio Ricordi , a friend of Puccini and publisher of casa editrice Ricordi , who also offered help occasionally because of his knowledge. In a short foreword, the librettists pointed out that they retained the characterization of the characters and the local background of Murger and only used them freely in the dramatic design and the comic episodes.
Giacosa, Illica and Puccini have taken from Murger's work the most effective stations and details and added new things, including Colline's Mantellied or Musetta's glittering appearances. The two main female characters of the original work, Mimì and Francine, they united in Mimì, the ideals. Although the librettists were often at odds at first - the number and order of the images was disputed, the later fourth act was completely reworked four times, and Puccini was at times on the verge of giving up the work, as his letters show: “I knew not to say whether the mistake is me or the libretto. Maybe both. Maybe all by myself. ”- With the completion in 1895 they succeeded in completing a libretto which, according to critics, is characterized by“ clear, albeit dramatically unequal form ”, which neither Leoncavallo, who wrote the libretto for his La Bohème himself, even the playwright Théodore Barrière succeeded with his play of the same name from 1849. Since his studies at the Conservatory, Puccini has been convinced that a close cooperation and bond between composer and librettist is essential. Another important point for him was the depth of the characters and a detailed elaboration of their psychological intricacies. He took great care to keep the text free of verbosity in spite of its three scenes, in contrast to the more playful depictions in Murger's 23 chapters, but for him important moments were written very meticulously. While the first two pictures play in a happy atmosphere, acts three and four have a wistful, sad mood. The fourth picture reflects the first, it takes place in the same place and is also divided into two halves (1st picture: the story of the four artists / Rodolfo gets to know Mimì; 4th picture: the situation of the four artists / farewell and death by Mimì). The clear structure and arrangement, the concentration on the essentials - Puccini concentrated his plot very much on Mimì and Rodolfo - combined with his detailed description - Puccini called himself the "man of the small details" - show the high artistic standards of Puccini to the libretto.
Mi chiamano Mimì , the performance of Mimì, aria of the soprano in the first picture (excerpt):
Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì,
Yes. I am called Mimì,
His collaboration with Giacosa and Illica was one of the most successful in the history of Italian opera, which is why they subsequently, despite various discussions and arguments while working on the libretto of La Bohème , also worked together on the operas Tosca and Madama Butterfly . With the death of Giacosa in 1906, the joint work ended.
Leoncavallo's work of the same name , which was created at the same time and practically in competition with Puccini, was completed a year later and premiered in Venice in 1897. It is based more closely on the literary model, and Leoncavallo criticizes the supposedly cheerful, free bohemian life in contrast to Puccini. Leoncavallo's work lagged far behind the global success of Puccini's La Bohème , which found its way into the standard repertoire of the opera world and is rarely performed today.
The opera La Bohème has no overture , it is laid out as a well- composed, dramatic large-scale form in four images , and the playing time is approx. 110 minutes. Puccini's work is, in the time of the young Verists, a generation after Giuseppe Verdi , one of the most important of Italian opera and opera at the turn of the century . The text and the music form a unit. The thematic material is completely coordinated with the scene, in which lyrical-sentimental parts alternate with humorous, lively parts in a contrasting juxtaposition. The themes are dealt with extensively in the leitmotif sense, but not in the symphonic-dramatic way of Richard Wagner , but in accordance with Puccini's pronounced sense of form in symmetrically built, closed structures that often only comprise a few bars or short periods. As Puccini himself says, the “entire last act is built up from logical memory motifs”. Puccini's operas became a success mainly because of their melodies, which is also and especially true of La Bohème . He knew how to write precisely for the voice, and the instrumentation of his scores is very differentiated and masterful.
For the orchestral introduction and the beginning of the opera, Puccini used parts from Capriccio Sinfonico , his examination paper at the Conservatory in Milan in 1882. The relatively easy role of Colline was the debut role of numerous important singers, among others. Boris Christow , Kim Borg , Ruggero Raimondi and Willard White .
Arias and duets
La Bohème is a thoroughly composed opera; Arias and duets are embedded in the musical flow instead of being separated from each other like in a number opera . Nevertheless, La Bohème contains a number of solo masterpieces that stand out from the opera due to their special musical design, length of the solo passages, difficulty of interpretation or intensity of the emotions conveyed. These pieces are particularly well-known and popular and can therefore be heard on opera samplers as well as in concert "best-of" performances. Since these pieces demonstrate the repertoire of an opera singer, they are also on the program for auditions . The following eight arias or duets represent the typical selection of highlights from La Bohème and are performed in the order of the opera:
Che gelida manina (“How ice cold is this little hand”, bars 912–983, length approx. 4 minutes), Rodolfo's aria from the first picture. Rodolfo philosophizes about happiness and approaches Mimì in the process. His aria resembles a self-portrait. Even if it is designed as a classic aria di sortita (aria when performing), a lyrical development takes place in it. The aria has four parts: The first part Che gelida manina (912–947) is followed by the short recitative Chi son? Sono un poeta (947-956). The third part In povertà mia lieta (956–964) takes up Schaunard's first melody from the scene before, creating a musical reminiscence of the burning of Rodolfo's poetry. The fourth and last part of the aria Talor dal mio forziere (964–983) has a lyrical character and rises to the high C on the word speranza (hope).
Sì. Mi chiamano Mimì (“They call me Mimì”, measure 984-1054, length approx. 4:50 minutes), Mimì's aria from the first picture. This aria directly follows Rodolfo's aria Che gelida manina and, like this, resembles a self-portrait.
O soave fanciulla (“O lovely girl, o sweet countenance”, length approx. 4 minutes), duet by Rodolfo and Mimì from the 1st picture. In this duet Rodolfo and Mimì declare their love for each other.
Quando m'en vò (“When I walk like that, when I walk alone on the street”), aria of Musetta from the 2nd picture. With this aria in ¾ time, also known as Musetta's waltz , Musetta wants to make Marcello jealous.
D'onde lieta uscì (“Where she once came from happily ”), Mimì's aria from the 3rd picture. Mimì says goodbye to Rodolfo and gives him her bonnet as a souvenir.
O Mimì, tu più non torni (“O Mimì, you'll never come back”), Rodolfo's aria from the 4th picture.
Vecchia zimarra, senti ("Hear 'you old coat", length approx. 1:40), Colline's aria from the 4th picture, also called coat aria. Colline praises his coat and with it his previous life as a bohemian, before saying goodbye to him in the pawnshop. This aria, actually an arietta (short aria), plays an important role in the structure of the 4th picture: it anticipates the end of the opera in terms of both content and music. Colline, who has no romantic interests, has all his passion for the arts and philosophy. He now symbolically separates himself from this love and the whole previous existence with his friends. The spectators who witnessed the purchase of the coat also feel this loss. At the very end of the opera, the bass theme of the Mantel aria is repeated. Vecchia zimarra is one of the standards for deep bass in auditions .
Sono andati? Fingevo di dormire (" Did they leave? I was just pretending to sleep"), duet by Mimì and Rodolfo from the 4th picture. With her swan song , Mimì expresses her continued love for Rodolfo, which Rodolfo reciprocates. Mimì rejects a comparison of her beauty with the dawn: Her beauty is more like the sunset, an anticipation of death.
- Rodolfo, youthful heroic tenor , also lyric tenor (large part)
- Schaunard, character baritone, also lyrical baritone (middle part)
- Marcello, cavalier baritone (large part)
- Colline, serious bass, also difficult bass (middle part)
- Benoît, bass (small part)
- Mimì, youthful-dramatic soprano, also lyrical soprano (large part)
- Musetta, lyric coloratura soprano , also coloratura soubrette (middle part)
- Parpignol, play tenor , also character tenor (small part)
- Alcindoro, character bass , also bass baritone or character tenor (small part)
- Sergeant at the customs station and customs officer, two basses (small parts)
The choir is considered to be the middle part, compared to other operas the children's choir has a bigger role.
The orchestra is made up as follows:
- Strings: standard line-up of 1st and 2nd violins , violas , cellos and double basses
- Woodwinds: two flutes , a piccolo (also flute in the 3rd picture), two oboes , an English horn , two clarinets , a bass clarinet , two bassoons
- Brass: four horns , three trumpets , three trombones , a cimbasso / double bass trombone
- Percussion: a timpani , a drum kit
- Diverse: two harps
The stage music in the fair scene in the 2nd picture is made up of two to six piccolo flutes, two to six trumpets and a small marching drum.
The premiere on February 1, 1896 in the Teatro Regio in Turin under the direction of the 28-year-old Arturo Toscanini with Cesira Ferrani as Mimì and Evan Gorga as Rodolfo was unsuccessful. The audience reacted cautiously, the only five curtains were a disappointment for Puccini. Most of the criticism was negative; Carlo Bersezio wrote in the Gazetta Piemontese : “Nobody can claim that La Bohème is an artistically successful opera ... The music is superficial ... just as this bohème does not leave a deep impression on the listener, it will also leave no significant trace in operatic history … “The reasons given for the failure were the sub-optimal cast and the fact that the opera had been performed too prematurely - the world première took place six weeks after the composition was completed, not least to forestall Leoncavallo, whose bohème was over a year later , on May 7, 1897, in Venice .
The next performance, which took place on February 23 in Rome at the Teatro dell'Argentina, was also received coldly, and another one at the Teatro San Carlo in Naples did not bring the hoped-for success. The breakthrough came with the performance on April 14, 1896 in Palermo under Leopoldo Mugnone: “At the end of the day, an hour after midnight, three thousand listeners didn't want to leave the house until Mugnone with the part of the orchestra still present and those who were mostly already dressed Singers repeated the entire finale. ”Now the opera quickly spread over the Italian and international stages: first performances in Brescia and Bologna (both under Toscanini) followed in 1896 and on June 16 at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires. In March 1897 the first performance followed at La Scala in Milan , again under Mugnone, in April under Toscanini in Venice. In the same year there were performances in Livorno, Alexandria, Moscow, Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro, Los Angeles and The Hague; in English in Manchester and London, Royal Opera House Covent Garden, and in German in Berlin under Ignatz Waghalter . Further premieres took place in 1898 in Paris, at the Théâtre du Châtelet , in 1899 in Saint Petersburg, in 1900 in New York and in 1901 at the Teatro Amazonas in Manaus .
In the performance in Livorno in 1897 Enrico Caruso made his role debut as Rodolfo; he made his debut in this role at La Scala in 1900 and was "the outstanding interpreter of Rodolfo for more than two decades"; his veristically inspired interpretation of the role became the benchmark for more than half a century. Puccini allegedly personally authorized Caruso to transpose the role down a semitone .
From its first performance until today, Puccini's La Bohème not only has an unbroken performance tradition, but also continues to enjoy great popularity. It owes this not least to the combination of a manageable plot structure with effective individual scenes that enable the soloists to present their vocal abilities. Large and small opera houses regularly have the work in their repertoire - there is always bohemian performance on any opera stage ; In the 2010/2011 season, for example, the opera had a total of 552 performances in 90 productions, making it one of the five most-performed operas in the world, along with The Magic Flute , La traviata , Carmen and Figaro's Wedding .
The 1963 production by Franco Zeffirelli at La Scala in Milan, which was also shown in Vienna , Munich , Montreal, Moscow, New York and Washington, is considered to set the standard. In this model bohemian with Herbert von Karajan as conductor, Mirella Freni , Eugenia Ratti , Gianni Raimondi and Rolando Panerai , among others, sang . In the following years, the leading interpreters of their time took on roles in this production, for example Luciano Pavarotti , José Carreras , Giacomo Aragall , Ileana Cotrubaș , Graziella Sciutti and Hilde Güden . The Zeffirelli production was part of the Scala repertoire until 1978 and is still in the repertoire of the Vienna State Opera and the Metropolitan Opera .
At the Salzburg Festival 2012, Damiano Michieletto staged the opera as a “dark chamber play” without the usual “Belle Epoque decor” and without the romantic attic: “[...] the Barrière d'Enfer is not a customs barrier at the city limits, but literally a Gate to Hell, a concrete freeway wasteland in the dirty slush, a place of perfect dreariness, lit up by the neon tubes of a beer booth alone. ” Anna Netrebko and Piotr Beczała starred , Daniele Gatti conducted .
Despite initially bad reviews, La Bohème became a global success. According to Burton D. Fisher, this is due to the fact that Puccini managed to enchant the audience with his opera. Everyone can immerse themselves in the piece and participate in the everyday life, the worries and the love of the actors. (The opera is close to verismo : it is not about legendary figures or royalty, but about the life, suffering and love of ordinary people.) In her biography of the composer, the author Philipp-Matz writes that La Bohème is Puccini's best work , a real masterpiece. British critic Frank Granville Barker sees La Bohème as "one of the wonders of the world," a groundbreaking work for opera. The opera is also highly valued among the participating artists, as Plácido Domingo praised in an analysis from 2002 the “very realistic love story” as well as the “beautiful music” by the “genius Puccini”.
The extent to which La Bohème was already understood by contemporaries as a “typical” opera is shown, for example, by its reception in Thomas Mann's 1924 novel The Magic Mountain . In the chapter on the fullness of the good sound , arias from numerous operas, including La Bohème, are played on a new gramophone in the lung sanatorium . To this it says: “And there was nothing more tender on earth than the Zwiegesang from a modern Italian opera ... Da mi il braccio, mia piccina 'and the simple, sweet, tightly melodic little phrase she gave him in response ... “The multiple emphasis on sweetness indicates how the work was understood.
The discography of La Bohème is, as is to be expected for such a popular opera with a tradition of over a hundred years of performance, very extensive. Since the first complete recording in 1918 (on twelve records), Operabase has recorded over 100 studio and live recordings on shellac , vinyl , CD and DVD, more recently also as Blu-ray . Operadis had as many as 285 recordings by 2009. Most of the shellac and LP recordings have now been digitized and are also available on CD. The discography is more closely linked to the performance tradition than with other works, as the premiere conductor Toscanini also received a recording from 1946 with Jan Peerce as Rodolfo and Licia Albanese as Mimì. Even Thomas Beecham , whose last recording of 1956 comes (with Victoria de los Angeles as Mimì and Jussi Björling as Rodolfo), has even worked with Puccini.
Almost all well-known conductors have recorded La Bohème , some are represented with several recordings, for example Herbert von Karajan , who recorded La Bohème a total of five times (1963, 1964, 1967, 1972 and 1977). La Bohème is no less popular with soloists - no well-known interpreter of the Italian subject is missing from the cast lists. Quite a few singers are represented, such as Mirella Freni, for whom Mimì recorded a total of 17 recordings between 1963 and 1989, or Luciano Pavarotti with twelve recordings as Rodolfo between 1961 and 1989. Prominent casts such as Cesare were also found for the supporting roles Siepi , Robert Merrill , Sherrill Milnes or, more recently, Thomas Hampson as Marcello and Samuel Ramey as Colline. Almost all recordings were made in Italian, one of the few exceptions is the one in German from 1956 under Richard Kraus with Fritz Wunderlich as Rodolfo.
In the following, only those recordings that have been particularly distinguished in specialist magazines, opera guides or the like or that are understandably worth mentioning for other reasons are listed.
- 1918 (first known recording; beginning missing): Carlo Sabajno (conductor), orchestra and choir of the Teatro alla Scala Milan. Remo Andreini (Rodolfo), Ernesto Badini (Marcello), Aristide Baracchi (Schaunard), Vincenzo Bottone (Colline), Gemma Bosini (Mimì), Adalgisa Giana (Musetta), Uraldo Ceccarelli (Benoît), C. Maestri (Parpignol). House of Opera CD-ROM, HMV 55056-78 (shellac), Cantus Classics 500940 (2 CD).
- 1956 ( Opernwelt CD tip: “artistically valuable”; Gramophone recommendation: “The Gramophone Choice”): Thomas Beecham (conductor), RCA Victor Orchestra, RCA Victor Chorus. Jussi Björling (Rodolfo), Robert Merrill (Marcello), John Reardon (Schaunard), Giorgio Tozzi (Colline), Victoria de los Angeles (Mimì), Lucine Amara (Musetta), Fernando Corena (Benoît and Alcindoro), William Nahr (Parpignol ), George del Monte (Sergeant). EMI CDS 5 56236-2 (2 CD), Angel CDCB-47235 (2 CD) EMI "Great Recordings of the Century" CMS 5 67750-2 (2 CD), Naxos historical 8.111249-50 (2 CD), Regis RRC 2075 (2 CD), Cantus Classics 500890 (2 CD).
- September 26, 1964 (video; live from the Bolshoi Theater Moscow; Gramophone recommendation: “DVD Recommendation”): Herbert von Karajan (conductor), Franco Zeffirelli (staging), orchestra and choir of the Teatro alla Scala Milan. Gianni Raimondi (Rodolfo), Rolando Panerai (Marcello), Gianni Maffeo (Schaunard), Ivo Vinco (Colline), Mirella Freni (Mimì), Edda Vincenzi (Musetta), Carlo Badioli (Benoît), Franco Calabrese (Alcindoro), Franco Ricciardi (Parpignol), Giuseppe Morresi (Sergeant), Angelo Mercuriali (salesman). Fonit Cetra CD: CDE 1010.
- October 1972 ( Opernwelt CD tip: “Reference recording”; Gramophone recommendation: “Additional Recommendation”): Herbert von Karajan (conductor), Berliner Philharmoniker , choir of the Deutsche Oper Berlin . Luciano Pavarotti (Rodolfo), Rolando Panerai (Marcello), Gianni Maffeo (Schaunard), Nikolaj Gjaurow (Colline), Mirella Freni (Mimì), Elizabeth Harwood (Musetta), Michel Sénéchal (Benoît and Alcindoro), Gernot Pietsch (Parpignol), Hans-Dieter Appelt (Sergeant). DECCA CD: 421 049-2, DECCA LP: 6.35200 (2), DECCA MC: K2B 5.
- February 1979 ( Gramophone recommendation: “Additional Recommendation”): Colin Davis (conductor), orchestra and choir of Covent Garden Opera London. Josep Carreras (Rodolfo), Ingvar Wixell (Marcello), Hakan Hagegaard (Schaunard), Robert Lloyd (Colline), Katia Ricciarelli (Mimì), Ashley Putnam (Musetta), Giovanni de Angelis (Benoît), William Elvin (Alcindoro), Francis Egerton (Parpignol), Richard Hazell (Sergeant). Philips CD: 416 492-2, Philips LP: 6769 031 (2 LP).
- 1988 (video; live from San Francisco; Gramophone recommendation: “DVD Recommendation”): Tiziano Severini (conductor), Francesca Zambello (staging), orchestra and choir of the San Francisco Opera . Luciano Pavarotti (Rodolfo), Gino Quilico (Marcello), Stephen Dickson (Schaunard), Nikolaj Gjaurow (Colline), Mirella Freni (Mimì), Sandra Pacetti (Musetta), Italo Tajo (Benoît), Daniel Harper (Parpignol), Mark Coles (Sergeant), Cameron Henley (customs officer). Pioneer LD: PLMCB 00281, Castle RM VI: CV 2802, Polygram VI: 079 158 3, Virgin VI: VVD 603, Arthaus Music 100 047 (1 DVD).
- 2003 (Video; live from Milan; Gramophone recommendation: “DVD Recommendation”): Bruno Bartoletti (conductor), orchestra and choir of the Teatro alla Scala Milan, Franco Zeffirelli (production). Marcelo Álvarez (Rodolfo), Roberto Servile (Marcello), Natale de Carolis (Schaunard), Giovanni Battista Parodi (Colline), Cristina Gallardo-Domâs (Mimì), Hei-Kyung Hong (Musetta), Matteo Peirone (Benoît), Angelo Romero (Alcindoro), Alberto Fraschina (Parpignol), Ernesto Panariello (Sergeant), Tino Nava (customs officer), Antonio Novello (salesman). TDK DVUS-OPBOH (1 DVD).
- April 2006 (video; live from Madrid; Gramophone recommendation: “DVD Recommendation”): Jesús López Cobos (conductor), Giancarlo del Monaco (production), titular orchestra and choir of the Teatro Real Madrid. Aquiles Machado (Rodolfo), Fabio Maria Capitanucci (Marcello), David Menéndez (Schaunard), Felipe Bou (Colline), Inva Mula (Mimì), Laura Giordano (Musetta), Juan Tomas Martinez (Benoît), Alfredo Mariotti (Alcindoro), Gonzalo Fernandez de Teran (Parpignol), Federico Gallar (Sergeant), Mario Villoria (customs officer). Opus Arte OA0961D (1 DVD).
- April 2007 (live, concert performance from the Munich Philharmonic; also as a DVD soundtrack; Gramophone recommendation: “Additional Recommendation”; ECHO Klassik 2009: “Opera recording of the year - 19th century”): Bertrand de Billy (conductor), Symphonie- Orchestra and choir of the Bavarian Radio , children's choir of the Theater am Gärtnerplatz . Rolando Villazón (Rodolfo), Boaz Daniel (Marcello), Stéphane Degout (Schaunard), Vitalij Kowaljow (Colline), Anna Netrebko (Mimì), Nicole Cabell (Musetta), Tiziano Bracci (Benoît, Alcindoro and Zöllner), Kevin Conners (Parpignol ), Gerald Häussler (Sergeant). DG 477 6600 (2 CDs), Axiom Films AXM 596 (DVD).
In addition to the complete recordings, La Bohème is also a popular source for individual recordings or extracts for samplers . Enrico Caruso already recorded several recordings of Rodolfo's aria ( Che gelida manina ) from 1906 (still recorded with a roller ); however, there is no complete recording of the opera by Caruso. Che gelida manina is said to have been recorded by almost 500 tenors in at least seven different languages between 1900 and 1980 alone. This almost inflationary number of recordings, however, allows an overview of the development of the singing style and the way in which a piece is performed.
Film adaptations (selection)
The opera was filmed several times, so that today a number of productions are available on DVD or Blu-ray . In 2009, Anja Horst staged La Bohème in the skyscraper as a live recording at various locations for Swiss television . The venues in Bern's Gäbelbachquartier were a high-rise as an attic and a shopping center as a Christmas market.
(Year, direction, Mimi, Rudolfo, conductor, orchestra, formats)
- 1965 - Franco Zeffirelli , Mirella Freni, Gianni Raimondi, Herbert von Karajan, Orchester Teatro alla Scala, DVD
- 1989 - Francesca Zambello, Mirella Freni, Luciano Pavarotti, Tiziano Severini, San Francisco Opera Orchestra, DVD
- 2006 - Robin Lough, Aquiles Machando, Inva Mula, Jesús López Cobos, Orchestra of the Teatro Real; Blu-ray, DVD
- 2008 - Gary Halvorson , Angela Gheorghiu, Ramon Vargas, Nicola Luisotti , Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, DVD
- 2008 - Robert Dornhelm, Anna Netrebko, Rolando Villazon, Bertrand de Billy, Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Blu-ray, DVD
- 2010 - John Copley, Teodor Ilincai, Hibla Gerzmava , Andris Nelsons , Royal Opera House Chorus and Orchestra, Blu-ray, DVD (live)
- 2010 - Brian Large , Anna Netrebko, Piotr Beczała ; Danielle Gatti, Vienna Philharmonic, Blu-ray, DVD
- Norbert Christen: La Bohème. In: Carl Dahlhaus (Ed.): Piper's Enzyklopädie des Musiktheater . Vol. 5, Works Piccinni - Spontini. Piper, Munich and Zurich 1994, ISBN 3-492-02415-7 , pp. 101-107.
- Attila Csampai , Dietmar Holland (ed.): La Bohème: texts, materials, comments . Rowohlt, Reinbek 1981, ISBN 3-499-17405-7 .
- Michel Girardi: Puccini: His International Art . University of Chicago Press, Chicago 2000, ISBN 0-226-29757-8 . (Chapter on La Bohème : pp. 99–144 )
- Linda Fairtile: Giacomo Puccini: A Guide to Research . Garland, New York 1999, ISBN 0-8153-2033-7 . ( Review of literature on La Bohème : pp. 118–134 )
- Arthur Groos, Roger Parker: Giacomo Puccini: La bohème . Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1986, ISBN 0-521-26489-8 .
- Giacomo Puccini: La Bohème . Calder, London 1982, ISBN 0-7145-3938-4 (No. 14 in the English National Opera Guide series ).
- Ulrich Schreiber : Opera guide for advanced , Volume 3 / I, 4th edition. Bärenreiter, Kassel 2010, ISBN 978-3-7618-1963-0 .
- Visualized plot in How To Opera
- La Bohème : Sheet music and audio files in the International Music Score Library Project
- La bohème (Giacomo Puccini) in the Corago information system of the University of Bologna
- Plot and libretto of it at Opera Guide landing page for URL upgrade currently unavailable
- Photos of three productions of the opera (Paris Opéra Comique, Berlin Komische Oper and Zurich Opera House) (accessed on March 10, 2012)
- Top ten of the world's most performed operas on Operabase . (Accessed September 7, 2011)
- New York City Opera Project : "La Bohème ... it came to be recognized as the masterpiece history now judges it to be." (Accessed November 10, 2012)
- Mary Jane Philipp-Matz: Puccini: A Biography. Northeastern University Press, Boston 2002, ISBN 1-55553-530-5 , p. 105.
- Henri Murger: Bohemians of the Latin Quarter. Vizetelly & Co., London 1888, eBook on The Project Gutenberg . (Accessed November 12, 2012)
- La Bohème, opera by Giacomo Puccini, Hessisches Staatstheater Wiesbaden. ( Memento of November 5, 2013 in the Internet Archive ) FAZ.NET literature calendar. (Accessed November 13, 2012)
- John W. Klein: The other Bohème. The Musical Times, Vol. 111, No. 1527, May 1970, pp. 497-499, doi: 10.2307 / 956015 .
- The Librettists of Puccini's La Bohème. Columbia University / New York City Opera Project, 2001. (Retrieved November 13, 2012)
- Foreword by the Librettists (Italian), Opera Information Directory. (Accessed August 10, 2012)
- Ernst Krause: Oper A – Z - An opera guide. 3rd edition, Deutscher Verlag für Musik, Leipzig 1978, p. 384.
- Georg Gerry Tremmel, Norbert Zander: Giacomo Puccini and Ferdinand Tönnies. Libretto Research 2010. (Accessed November 12, 2012)
- Verenoa Großkreutz: Leoncavallo as a better Puccini? The “other” bohemian in Lucerne. Neue Musikzeitung Online, April 28, 2009. (Accessed November 12, 2012)
- Rudolf Kloiber , Wulf Konold , Robert Maschka: Handbook of the Opera. 9. joint Edition, dtv / Bärenreiter, 2002, ISBN 3-423-32526-7 (dtv) / ISBN 3-7618-1605-7 (Bärenreiter), p. 560.
- Pietro Spada, in: Supplement to the recording under Riccardo Chailly, 1983.
- Michel Girardi: Puccini: His International Art . Chicago 2000, pp. 124-125.
- Michel Girardi: Puccini: His International Art . Chicago 2000, pp. 141-143.
- Martial Singher: An Interpretive Guide to Operatic Arias: A Handbook for Singers, Coaches . Penn State Press, 2003, ISBN 0-271-02354-6 , pp. 196-197.
- Rudolf Kloiber, Wulf Konold, Robert Maschka: Handbook of the Opera. 9. joint Edition, dtv / Bärenreiter, 2002, ISBN 3-423-32526-7 (dtv) / ISBN 3-7618-1605-7 (Bärenreiter), p. 558.
- La Bohème score. (PDF) Retrieved May 18, 2016 .
- Giacomo Puccini, Henri Murgers: La Boheme. An opera guide. Published by the Staatsoper unter den Linden, Insel Verlag, Frankfurt 2001, ISBN 3-458-34619-8 , p. 154.
- Ernst Krause: Puccini. Description of a world success. Piper, Munich 1986, ISBN 3-492-10534-3 , p. 133.
- Ernst Krause: Puccini. Description of a world success. Piper, Munich 1986, ISBN 3-492-10534-3 , p. 134.
- Norbert Christen, La Bohème, Piper Vol. 5, p. 106.
- Norbert Christen, ibid
- Performances of La Bohème in the statistics of Operabase . (Accessed September 7, 2011)
- Norbert Christen, La Bohème, Piper Vol. 5, p. 107.
- Frederik Hanssen: Kalte Herzen , in: Der Tagesspiegel of August 3, 2012 , accessed on December 1, 2013
- Opera Today : La bohème at the Salzburg Festival , August 28, 2012
- Anthony Tommasini: Theather; The Seven-Year Odyssey That Led to Rent . In: The New York Times . March 17, 1996. Retrieved July 17, 2008.
- Burton D. Fisher: Puccini's La Bohème. Opera Classics Library Series, vers. 1.5
- Frank Granville Barker Praised La Bohème: "One of the wonders of the world" , Opera Classics Library Series, p. 24
- Thomas Mann: The Magic Mountain. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1991, ISBN 3-596-29433-9 , p. 879.
- Discography on La Bohème at Operadis.
- La Bohème. In: Andreas Ommer: Directory of all complete opera recordings. Zeno.org , volume 20.
- La Bohème. In: Harenberg opera guide. 4th edition. Meyers Lexikonverlag, 2003, ISBN 3-411-76107-5 , p. 689.
- The Gramophone Choice: Puccini's La bohème. Posted February 1, 2015 on gramophone.co.uk , accessed May 14, 2016.
- The winners of the Classic Echo 2009. In: Die Welt from October 1, 2009 , accessed on May 14, 2016.
- William Shaman et al .: More EJS: Discography of the Edward J. Smith recordings. Issue 81 of Discographies Series , Greenwood Publishing Group, 1999, pp. 455-456. ISBN 0-313-29835-1 .
- Overview page of the producing station Schweizer Fernsehen , also reference to video productions of the live broadcast, reviews and reviews. (Accessed November 27, 2010)