Puccini’s La Boheme is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser. Love at first sight in Paris for the seamstress Mimi and the poet Rudolfo, struggling young artists, with a heartbreaking conclusion and that meltingly beautiful score. The inspiration for Rent, it’s the perfect opera for first-timers, for date night, for anyone (and much better musical theater than Rent).
And when the staging is by veteran British director Jonathan Miller, La Boheme is a must-see, a Cincinnati Opera co-production with the English National Opera updated to Paris in the early 1930s with a cast of exciting young singers, including the luminous Ailyn Pérez as Mimi and Richard Tucker Award winner Stephen Costello (a tenor) as Rudolfo.
Miller is a glorious polymath in a world of numbing specialization. While training as a physician at Cambridge, he teamed with up with Peter Cook, Dudley Moore and Alan Bennett in 1961 to present Beyond the Fringe, a satiric review that forever changed British comedy. Miller went on to stage productions for the Old Vic in England, Metropolitan Opera, La Scala and Glyndebourne as well as the BBC’s Shakespeare series.
La Boheme is presented by Cincinnati Opera at 7:30 p.m. July 21 and 23 and 3 p.m. July 25 at Music Hall.
Read Anne Arenstein's full interview with Jonathan Miller here and get production and venue details.