4 La Bohèmes in 10 years
La Bohème is one of the most popular operas in the world – Puccini’s mesmerising melodies, combined with the heart-breaking story of ordinary people in love have made it an audience favourite over the years.
Our own romance with Puccini’s masterpiece started 10 years ago – at our humble beginnings with event cinema, and we’re very excited to be bringing our 4th La Bohème to the big screen this September. To celebrate, we thought we’d take a look at these four productions we had the pleasure of working on – and tell you a little bit about what makes each of them unique.
Our first collaboration with Opera Australia, who have since provided us with a whole range of spectacular productions – including 2 more La Bohèmes! It wasn’t however their first La Bohème ever – did you know that one of their first performances came from director Baz Luhrmann (Romeo+Juliet, Great Gatsby) himself? Not too long after his run with Opera Australia, Baz Luhrmann took the basis of the bohemian love story and brought us the box office hit we all know and love – Moulin Rouge!
This 2008 production is set in modern times, and is filled with pop culture references – Shaunard for example impersonates Elvis for a living. It was filmed in collaboration with the Australian channel ABC2, and broadcast as part of the ‘cultural giving’ initiative, free of charge to selected cinemas around Australia.
A second offering from Opera Australia, 2011’s La Bohème took the action away from Paris and into the glitzy cabaret clubs of 1930’s Berlin. This may be the most charismatic La Bohème we’ve seen so far – with a sumptuous, velvety set, glittering fairy lights, and the delicate love story of Rodolfo and Mimì blossoming against the contrast of a city of liberal indulgence.
Last year we ventured under the shadow of the magnificent Mt Etna in Taormina, Sicily to bring you La Bohème like never before – broadcast live from an ancient Greek amphitheatre. Seeing Puccini’s classic performed in his homeland is special in itself – watching the story unfold in a 2000-year-old, spectacular venue is a treat on a whole other level.
Last but not least – our first ever La Bohème performed on our favourite water stage! We’ve been bringing you spectacular shows from Opera Australia’s fabulous outdoor venue for years now, from La Traviata to Turandot – and we couldn’t be more excited about this one. Plus, it’s set in a snowy Paris in the 60s, featuring student strikes, cars burning on stage, Papillon floating above the Sydney Harbour using balloons and of course – a whole lot of fireworks.
It’s certainly shaping up to be our most grand production of La Bohème yet – and you can judge that by yourself from the comfort of your local cinema, on 13 September. Tickets on sale now.