Part of the Glyndebourne Festival 2022, the company’s first new production of La bohème (The Bohemians, Puccini, 1896) for more than 20 years is set to be screened at selected cinemas from 11 September.
This new staging has been created by Dutch opera director Floris Visser, who has set all four acts of the opera in a monochrome alley, dispensing with the conventional frolics of bohemian life that feature in most productions in Acts I and II.
He also introduces the haunting figure of Death, who silently stalks the dying Mimì’s every move. Inspired by photographs of Brassaï’s Paris in the 1920s, this is a stark and striking production.
When seamstress Mimì meets the struggling writer Rodolfo they are instantly drawn together. But while Paris can be a magical city of love, it is also a place of very real hardships, as the two young bohemians and their friends soon discover, when jealousy, poverty and sickness tear them apart.
The young cast includes South Korean tenor Sehoon Moon as Rodolfo and Chilean soprano Yaritza Véliz as Mimì. British tenor Christopher Lemmings is Death, who is also transformed into the singing part of Parpignol in Act II, doling out red balloons – a rare splash of colour in this largely monochromatic staging – to the children.
Jordan de Souza conducts the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Set designs are by Dieuweke Van Reij, with costumes by Jon Morrell and lighting by Alex Brok.
The production will be broadcast to more than 100 UK cinemas from 11 September, with exact times and dates depending on location. Tickets for all showings are on sale now; prices differ depending on cinema.
La bohème will also be available to watch on demand on Glyndebourne Encore from November 2022. This online subscription service costs £79.99 per year, with Glyndebourne members receiving a £20 discount. It will form part of this year’s tour, too.
Dutch opera director Floris Visser’s new production of Puccini’s La bohème will be broadcast to cinemas across the UK in September (Richard Hubert Smith).