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La Bohème (1988)


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Credited cast:
Mirella Freni Mirella Freni ... Mimì
Luciano Pavarotti ... Rodolfo
Gino Quilico Gino Quilico ... Marcello
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Stephen Dickson Stephen Dickson ... Schaunard
Nicolai Ghiaurov Nicolai Ghiaurov ... Colline
Sandra Pacetti Sandra Pacetti ... Musetta
Italo Tajo Italo Tajo ... Benoit / Alcindoro


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Plot Keywords:

opera | See All (1) »


Drama | Romance | Music







Release Date:

1 September 1988 (Australia) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Monarda Arts See more »
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Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Mirella Freni and Luciano Pavarotti, coincidentally, were both born in 1935 in Modena, Italy. Their mothers worked together, but they followed very different paths to the top of their careers. Freni's aunt was a famous soprano in the 40s, Valentina Bartolomassi, and Freni grew up in a world of music (she was singing operatic arias at age ten on the radio in Italy). In contrast, though Pavarotti's family was musically talented (his father sounded eerily like him in an early recording), he was encouraged to pursue an athletic career as a soccer player and coach. See more »


Version of Great Performances: La bohème (1994) See more »


La Bohème
Music by Giacomo Puccini
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User Reviews

Magnificent, the definitive version of one of the most heart-rending operas ever written!

La Boheme is the most beautiful opera of love, death and pure sadness. I am 17, and I love opera, and this is one of my all time favourites. It is one of those operas where one audience member, if not the whole audience, are in tears in the first bar or so, that is if they know how the opera ends. For those who haven't already seen it, prepare for tears, it is that sad and it has some subtle humour too. And the gorgeous score by Puccini is to thank for that. The finale to act 3 and Mimi's death are two of the most heart-rending scenes in the whole of opera history. Another honourable mention, should go to the Death Scene in Boris Godunov, see the footage of Boris Christoff's 1956 recording, believe me, it's amazing. Back to La Boheme. Mirella Freni is considered by many as the most definitive of all the Mimis, and those who say that are right. She has the frailness and the beauty, plus the big but beautiful voice so much needed for the character. Plus her death scene is done with such grace. The late Luciano Pavarotti gives one of his finer performances as Rodolfo the poet. Sure he needed to transpose "Your tiny hand is frozen", but that's not a crime. Jussi Bjorling did the same thing when he sang it when Renata Tebaldi in 1956.(I have a video of the Art of Singing:Golden Voices of the twentieth century, and Christoff and Bjorling are both featured on it, alongside Caruso and Callas). There are also superb performances of Musetta and Marcello by Sandra Pacetti and Rossini-veteran Gino Quillico respectively, Pacetti particularly starts off delightfully seductive and feisty then turns sensitive and subdued, what a transformation. And Nicolai Ghiaurov is wonderful as Colline, the aria where the philosopher sings of his coat is sung very sensitively here. The end of the opera, and I genuinely mean this, moved me so much, I was in tears, when I promised no I mustn't cry. All in all, a must-see for those who are fans of the opera, Freni or Pavarotti. Without question, 10/10 Bethany Cox

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