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Giacomo Puccini La bohème

Opera in four acts

Text by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica based on the novel Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger (1822–1861)

New production
In Italian with German and English surtitles

Co-production with Shanghai Grand Theatre

Duration approx. 2,5 hours.


  • 01 August 2012, 19:30


  • 30 July 2012, 11:00
  • 04 August 2012, 20:00
  • 07 August 2012, 20:00
  • 10 August 2012, 19:30
  • 13 August 2012, 20:00
  • 15 August 2012, 17:00
  • 18 August 2012, 19:30

Print programme (PDF)


Daniele Gatti, Conductor
Damiano Michieletto, Stage Director
Paolo Fantin, Set Design
Carla Teti, Costume Design
Martin Gebhardt, Lighting
Kathrin Brunner, Dramaturgy
Nikolaos Lagousakos, Choreographic Assistance
Ernst Raffelsberger, Chorus Master
Alessandro Bombonati, Director of stage music
Wolfgang Götz, Children's Chorus Master


Piotr Beczała, Rodolfo, a poet
Marcello Giordani (07.08), Rodolfo, a poet
Anna Netrebko, Mimì
Ailyn Pérez (10.08), Mimì
Massimo Cavalletti, Marcello, a painter
Nino Machaidze, Musetta
Alessio Arduini, Schaunard, a musician
Carlo Colombara, Colline, a philosopher
Davide Fersini, Benoît, their landlord
Peter Kálmán, Alcindoro, a state councillor
Paul Schweinester, Parpignol
Steven Forster, Parpignol (Artist)

Salzburger Festspiele und Theater Kinderchor
Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus
Vienna Philharmonic

*Due to a sudden sickness of his voice, Piotr Beczała was not able to sing the role of Rodolfo on 04 August. Jonas Kaufmann stepped in to sing the role of Rodolfo from the side of the stage while Piotr Beczala acted on stage.

Complementary programme: La bohème



One of the operas performed most frequently all over the world, Giacomo Puccini’s La bohème will have its grand premiere in 2012 at the Salzburg Festival – its brilliance already ensured by the star cast led by conductor Daniele Gatti. “With the second opera premiere of the Vienna Philharmonic, I would like to break a spell which seems to have decreed that Giacomo Puccini is anathema to the Salzburg Festival – a fact I have never understood. Ever since this Festival was founded, there has been only one Tosca and one Turandot production, and none of his other works were ever put on the program,” Artistic Director Alexander Pereira states.

Puccini and his librettists gave a musical and dramaturgical treatment to the tales of Henri Murger, who had memorialized the life of Parisian artists and Bohemians in the serialized novel
Scènes de la vie de bohème in the mid-19th century. However, the work hardly has a plot in the stricter sense. As in a film, scenes, images and impressions flit past the viewer. Like snapshots, momentary images record the pact of friendship between four young individualists in the metropolis of Paris: Rodolfo writing, Colline philosophizing, Marcello painting, and Schaunard, who has turned towards music. Into this artists’ idyll, Rodolfo introduces fragile Mimì – who, however, does not seem cut out for the life of the bohemians…
The main goal of Italian stage director Damiano Michieletto is to find a contemporary form for the story and to capture the attitude towards life of young people today: those who stand up for their passions, pursue their visions and dare to seek out new paths in art – even if they fail grandly.