Teeming with period detail, John Copley's definitive production of this much-loved opera is traditional opera at its best. From a shabby garret to the bustling Café Momus to a snowy courtyard at dawn, this minutely observed panorama of 1830s Parisian life, beautifully designed by Julia Trevelyan Oman, conjures emotions and atmosphere ranging from joy to tragedy, in large-scale crowd scenes and intimate tableaux.
Puccini no doubt drew on his own student escapades for the robust humor of the comic scenes. And in his depiction of the tender and ultimately tragic love between Mimì and Rodolfo, Puccini achieved an immediacy, warmth and humanity that have rarely been equaled.
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