Multimedia Collection

La Bohème

112 min
M1500 .P68 P83 2000 Disc 1 DVD

Opera in three acts. Music by Giacomo Puccini ; libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica after Henry Murger's novel Scènes de la vie de Bohème.

Recorded live from the Sydney Opera House, this Australian Opera production of Puccini's perennial favorite was staged by the Academy Award®-winning creative team who made the hit film Moulin Rouge - director Baz Luhrmann and designers Catherine Martin and Bill Marron.

They have crafted a compelling and artful reworking of the opera, using the post-war privations of 1950s Paris as a convincing setting, and capturing, above all else, the youthfulness and intensity of the story with a raw sincerity.

The stars of this basically ensemble production are Cheryl Barker as Mimi and David Hobson, tall and handsome as a movie star, who plays Rodolfo with a flip, boyish carelessness that makes his love for Mimi all the more moving when he loses her. They are splendidly complemented by Christine Douglas and Roger Lemke in the parts of the good-hearted but flirtatious Musetta and her lover, Marcello.

Rodolfo's other companions in the garret - David Lemke as the musician Schaunard, Gary Rowley as the philosopher Colline - are typical exuberant students.

Julian Smith conducts Puccini's rich, eloquent score, and the dramatic vibrancy of Luhrmann's production makes some of the composer's finest moments, such as the very different tensions between the two pairs of lovers, emerge with moving clarity.

Performers: Cheryl Barker (Mimi) ; David Hobson (Rodolfo) ; Roger Lemke (Marcello) ; Christine Douglas (Musetta) ; Gary Rowley (Colline) ; David Lemke (Schaunard) ; The Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra ; Julian Smith, conductor.

Sung in Italian with English subtitles.

Distributed by Image Entertainment (

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