La Bohème is among the most popular productions presented by the Cairo Opera House's troupes: the Cairo Opera Company, the Cairo Opera Orchestra and the Cairo Opera Choir.
The upcoming performance will take place on four consecutive evenings, between 28 and 31 March, at the main hall of the Cairo Opera.
Organised in cooperation with the Italian Cultural Institute in Cairo, the orchestra will be conducted by Elio Orciuolo, an Italian conductor with a decades-long history of working on operatic productions at Italian theatres and as a guest conductor internationally.
Orciuolo is currently the Artistic Director of the Opera of Panama and the Project Opera Master Class. He is also the Music and Artistic Director of Erasmus Youth Orchestra.
The libretto La Bohème was written by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, who based it on Murger’s novel Scenes of Bohemian Life (Scènes de la vie de bohème). As the title indicates, the novel's plot consists of separate scenes and realistic sketches depicting Bohemian life without a clear dramaturgical line. However, Murger’s scene 18 provides the skeleton of Puccini’s opera.
The opera depicts a sentimental love story between the painter Rodolfo and the seamstress Mimi, with the latter's illness eventually leading to her death.
The love of Mimi and Rodolfo is contrasted with a playful and quick-tempered relationship between Musetta and Marcello. Careless and rather coquettish fun is penetrated by winter frost and poverty, and this paves the way for the tragic, yet anticipated, end.
In addition to its great music, La Bohème is superb material for an enriching theatrical experience. Each of the four friends has a unique psychological structure, whilst the two women characters are especially contrasting: Mimi with her lyrical attitude, carries death as her birthmark, while Musetta bubbles with life and temperament.
With the characters so exquisitely designated, in the opera we neither find accidental scenes nor unneeded dialogue. Throughout the libretto, we gain insight not only into the discourse between the four characters, but also into their thoughts and feelings.
With a simplicity of dramatic build-up and contrasting characters, everything is deeply implicated with the music, and Puccini’s charming melodic style, graceful arias and captivating orchestration can be praised ad infinitum.
No wonder La Bohème is among the Egyptian audience's favorite operas, and as such it is frequently revisited by the Cairo Opera Company.
The opera is directed by Hazem Tayel with Anastasiya Shytsko as choir master.
28, 29, 30, 31 March 2022, at 8pm
Cairo Opera House main hall, Zamalek, Cairo
Tickets: LE 110, 85, 60
Booking via Tickets Mall or at the Cairo Opera box office.