Reviewed by Jan Mellor
This was my first opera so I wasn’t sure if it would be my thing, but from the start with the opening of 2 friends, Marcello a painter and Rodolfo a writer and poet, trying to keep warm on Christmas Eve – their amazing voices had the theatre spellbound. Their friends arrive, Colline and Schaunard, and the friends decide to go out for the evening. Rodolfo stays behind to write and meets and instantly falls in love with a weary Mimi. The voices sent the audience into a world of love with them.
The 2nd act shows the friends and Mimi in a festive mood in a park with puppeteers and children. Marcello sees his old flame Musetta with another man is instantly jealous but their love is rekindled.
The 3rd act shows 2 months later a frailer Mimi afflicted by T.B. telling Marcel look how she needs to leave Rodolfo because of his possessiveness. She hides when Rodolfo appears and they agree (reluctantly) that they must part. Whilst Marcello and Musetta also are in the throes of separation.
In the 4th act we return to the friend’s apartment as they are both missing their true love. Musetta brings a dying Mimi to Rodolfo and they embrace for one last time before Mimi fades away. The singing transported me to ‘within’ the story and I was utterly smitten with the wonderful world of opera.
It was a truly magical evening. The opera was amazing. The audience thoroughly enjoyed it and the talent of the main 8 characters was sublime. A superb cast, story and voices. A lovely evening. Go on – give opera a go!!
Ellen Kent’s La Boheme is currently on tour around the UK, for more information and tour dates visit www.ellenkent.com.
For other shows at the Liverpool Empire visit www.atgtickets.com/liverpool.
Liverpool Empire Theatre, Lime Street, Liverpool, Merseyside, L1 1JE | 0844 8713017