First represented in 1896 under the conduction of a 29 year old Toscanini, La Bohème is ever since Puccini's most beloved masterpiece. As Mosco Carner has written, Puccini's La Bohème is the first ever opera to attain an almost perfect fusion of romantic and realistic elements with impressionist touches. With its four concise and strongly characterised acts, the opera presents a theatrical structure of surprising modernity, which Puccini enlivens with musical invention that despite being carefully studied and worked on gives the listener the impression of absolute spontaneity. The burning lyricism of the love duet in the first act and of Mimì's death scene, the accurate painting of details, the fresh liveliness of the conversation scenes, the sophistication of orchestration, often almost of chamber-music taste, all contribute to making La Bohème one of the most original creations in the history of opera.
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Print exists at George Eastman House Motion Picture Collection. See more
Version of La vie de bohème