What's On

La Bohème

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Synopsis

It’s love at first sight when young struggling artist Rodolfo meets the poor seamstress Mimi. But will their love survive the grim reality of penniless life in the cold of the Parisian Winter?

This captivating tale of love and loss will move even the hardest of hearts. Bringing alive the joy, wit and frivolity of late 1950s Paris, this stylish production by the acclaimed director Phyllida Lloyd marries glorious music, stunning sets and colourful costumes in a unique spectacle telling the ultimate tragic love story. With its vivid portrayal of Parisian life, the excitement of falling in love and the desolation of loss, this is a Bohème high on emotion. Get the tissues ready - you’ll need them.

View a detailed introduction to the characters, story and music here.

Lloyd’s Bohème remains unmatched ... its radicalism remains powerful and immediate, and you would still be hard-pressed to find a production of Puccini’s masterpiece that offers quite so challenging and cogent an interpretation as this.’ The Guardian, January 2010

Lasts approximately 2 hours 15 mins
Sung in Italian with English titles

This production is double-cast with the performance dates split as follows:

  • Iştoc/ Guèze/ James/ Rhodes/ Ring/ Holliday/ Dolton: 29 Apr; 1, 3 (mat), 7 (eve), 9, 10 (eve), 15, 17 (mat) May
  • Watson/ Park/ Ingram/ Rock/ Savournin/ Rea/ Peaker: 2, 3 (eve), 7 (mat), 8, 10 (mat), 14, 16, 17 (eve) May

Download our complete opera performance diary for 2013-14 here.

Supported with a gift from Mary Hill

Explore the world of La Bohème and see behind the scenes

Throughout rehearsals we will be following the cast, chorus, orchestra, crew and creative team as the prepare to open La Bohème in Leeds. Keep an eye on Pinterest, tumblr, Instagram, YouTube and our blog for updates and insights via photos, videos, audio, articles and more.

Buy Tickets

Pricing
Adult Ticket
£15 - £49.50
Schedule

Click on a venue below to find out more information.

Leeds Leeds Grand Theatre 29th Apr - 10th May 2014 2:30pm & 7:30pm
Contact Details
46 New Briggate
Leeds
LS1 6NZ
Nearby

Enjoy 20% off your bill at Sandinista (Cross Belgrave Street - New Briggate) on presentation of your Opera North ticket when placing their food order. To book a table call 0113 305 0372. Food is served till 10pm through the week with final orders at 9pm Friday and Saturday. Only valid on the day of the performance their ticket is for. Not to be used in conjunction with any other offer.

Important Information

The theatre is easily accessible by public transport. It is approximately 10 minutes walk from the main bus station and 15 minutes walk from the train station with many buses stopping in the immediate vicinity. For the most up to date information on local bus and train times, please check WYMetro. There is also a taxi rank outside the theatre although we recommend booking a taxi in advance, particularly on a Friday or Saturday evening.

Parking is available at various nearby car parks, including Edward Street/Templar Street and the St John's and Merrion Centre shopping malls. A limited amount of on street parking available near the theatre is free after 6pm but this does tend to fill up very quickly.

Salford Quays The Lowry 14th - 17th May 2014 2:30pm & 7:30pm
Contact Details
Pier 8
Salford Quays
M50 3AZ
Important Information

There is a passenger drop-off point immediately in front of The Lowry. Secure parking is available in The Lowry Outlet Mall multi-storey car park. There are designated areas for disabled parking on every level.

The Lowry is accessible by train, tram and bus. http://www.tfgm.com/

From national railway stations, Manchester Piccadilly and Victoria you can travel to The Lowry by Metrolink tram. You can board an Eccles line tram and should alight at Harbour City, or Media City UK for trams which stop there, as this is slightly closer.

More info: http://www.thelowry.com/plan-your-visit/getting-here/

Comments

What you say

Comment from susan

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susan said ago

I bought two tickets for myself and my mother. My mother travelled up from London to see the performance and it was well worth the miles. It was simply mesmerising. The singing was stunning and the performers were so passionate. It left both myself and my mother in tears. We were both spellbound by Sky Ingram as Musetta. Thank you for a fantastic evening.

Comment from Hazel

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Hazel said ago

Really enjoyed the performance, I had booked my tickets ages before and couldn't find them on the day, I turned up ready for the evening performance to discover I should have been at the matinee, big heart sink moment however staff at the Grand had found seats for us for performance at no extra charge, seats were not as good as initial booked seats and I could not see the band, however, only disappointed with myself, they did not have to do this for us and it was very much appreciated, thank you!

Comment from Charles Dobson

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Charles Dobson said ago

Wonderful singing (especially from the Mimi and Rodolfo) and a simple, clear production which didn't hide the darker aspects of the story. And the orchestra of Opera North were (as always!) outstanding. Turandot next?

Comment from Mary

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Mary said ago

This was my first visit to any opera, and I thought the whole performance was fantastic. The youth, energy and enthusiasm shone through, outstanding performances by all, especially Ji-min, but you were all great. I thought the set design was a work of art in itself. loved it. Well done

Comment from Helen Battersby

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Helen Battersby said ago

We went to the Matinee on Wednesday afternoon,and it was a wonderful performance of La Boheme.The whole cast were superb and the Orchestra were first class.
The sets although simple ,worked wonderfully,especially the cafe scene which was very effective.
Only are second visit to the Grand as we live a distance from Leeds,it is a fantastic venue for Opera, and one of the most beautifully kept theatres we have visited.

Comment from Chris Edwards

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Chris Edwards said ago

We enjoyed the evening especially the orchestral playing which was great. The set was simple and worked OK and generally the passionate and appealing young cast were good... Lorna James a strong and feisty Musetta, Phillip Rhodes a powerful Marcello and Gabriela Istoc an attractive and appealing Mimi. We thoroughly agree that "The unamplified human voice, supported by orchestra, singing about raw emotions does something extraordinary to you."so it was a shame that Sebastien Gueze's was so poor, especially as we had read the reviews. We were sad to have missed Ji-min Park. It a very weak performance vocally from Gueze with him pushing his voice too hard, and sounding harsh and tuneless at times. Still live performance is wonderful and we suppose he did his best!

Comment from Alex

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Alex said ago

I think you are indeed being old-fashioned. Having recently lost a love to a wasting illness, I can attest to the message shining through in Leeds, with some impassioned acting and singing. And even in tradgedy, surely there must be some comedy, or we'd all be worn down by the tradgedies that come to everyone at some point. As for the setting, since you've obviously seen a few Bohemes, I'd agree that some work and some don't. Why not check the production notes before you go?

Comment from Helen

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Helen said ago

The updating of the setting to the 50s or whenever works really well and the buffoonery, drag and messing about are actually there for a purpose - to highlight and put into relief the tragedy unfolding. It's what Shakespeare did so well. Thoroughly enjoyed it - very moving, great acting by the principals and a tremendous performance by the ON orchestra.

Comment from Jean

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Jean said ago

The quality of the singing and music were excellent but I felt that a 1950s setting tore the heart out of the story. Call me old-fashioned but I thought the scenery and some of the props were very distasteful. I had to force myself to keep looking at the stage and I spent much of the time trying to imagine everyone in 19th century costume. There was also a pantomime element in the last act,where a character appeared in drag that was completely inappropriate for a tragic opera....

Comment from Stephen

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Stephen said ago

Amazing performance Thursday 8th May Ji-Min Park a delight to listen to and watch.

Comment from Shirley McLean

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Shirley McLean said ago

First time I have been to an opera and I loved everything about the production and was very moved by the wonderful voices

Comment from Stafford Crossman

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Stafford Crossman said ago

This was about the 6th/7th La Boheme I have seen and I found it the most moving. I put this down to the quality of the acting and the psazz of the surtitles which wonderfully emphasised the sentimentality of the opera. Also, unlike other productions the opening 4 student scene did not drag - again because it was so well acted.
It was also refreshing to have Mimi, not Rodolfo, presented as the star of the Opera.

Comment from Patricia Jones

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Patricia Jones said ago

Excellent production, imaginative staging, Ji Min Park great as was rest of cast. Updating to 50's worked very well. Enjoyed very much.

Comment from Malcolm Douglas Porter

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Malcolm Douglas Porter said ago

This was the first Opera North production that I have seen. We were in the Grand on Saturday 3rd. Overall it was a well presented production with some superb singing. The set design was adequate and worked well, but I thought some of the lighting could have been better designed. I did not feel overcome with any emotion, I thought it rather flat from that point of view, but having said that, the story line came across OK, and was an enjoyable experience. I will certainly come back for more!

Comment from Reg S

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Reg S said ago

Absolutely magnificent. I have seen this opera several times but the cast from last Saturday were magnificent with Ji Min Park bringing a freshness to the part of Rodolfo which will take a lot to beat. If this was the second string team the first team cannot be any better!
Wonderful

Comment from Steven

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Steven said ago

An outstanding performance from a hugely talented young cast. Well done and thank you Opera North for an evening of fabulous quality. Special mention to Ji-Min Park, Duncan Rock and John Savournin for a suite of first class and highly individual performances! Simply brilliant. Get a ticket!

Comment from Catherine L

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Catherine L said ago

My husband and I had a wonderful evening on Saturday. The production may not please opera purists but we found it fresh, lively and well sung by what seemed to be a young cast. Transposing it to the 1950s worked surprising well. The acting and ensemble work was exceptionally good particularly by the 4 male leads. Ji-Min Park was outstanding. Anita Watson has a lovely voice. One or two people near us were complaining that her performance was a bit too restrained but the same people seemed to be sniffing loudly at the end. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house. The chorus and orchestra of Opera North gave their usual impeccable performances. One of the best and most enjoyable productions we've seen.

Comment from Andrew wootton-jones

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Andrew wootton-jones said ago

Absolutely brilliant, both production and venue! I've seen la boheme many times, and whilst this production was a tad different, I just loved the more modern interpretation and the quality was superb on all fronts, well done to all and the venue is a real gem.

Comment from L Ainsworth

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L Ainsworth said ago

A thoroughly entertaining evening: beautifully sung and well acted characters. The update to '50s costume and life worked well, and the set design was cleverly done. I would definitely recommend this to others.

Comment from Trevor Boag

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Trevor Boag said ago

Brilliant 1 - Loved the Act 2 street/cafe scene - so full of life and interest and such a sensual Musetta! Great orchestra and a marvellous youthful cast - So good I'm coming to see it again on Wednesday! Thank you - Trevor Boag

Comment from Louise

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Louise said ago

Wonderful performance by the cast and beautiful theatre !

Comment from Judith Rhodes

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Judith Rhodes said ago

While I do like this production very much, I was a little surprised to see it hauled out yet again. I don't have any objection to seeing it, indeed I enjoy it, but don't you think that something fresh might attract more and/ or different people?
I didn't like Sébastien Guèze's Rodolfo at all, I found it a very weak performance vocally; a shame, because everybody else was spot on, and the orchestra was superb.

Comment from Patricia Barber

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Patricia Barber said ago

I came last night with two friends and we were absolutely wowwed with the performance. We sat glued to our seats the whole evening. Brilliant

Comment from Catherine Gibson

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Catherine Gibson said ago

I thought last night's performance was a wonderful, rivetting experience, beautifully sung (and I especially loved Mimi's delicate, quiet singing in her last moments), filled with truthful detail and tremendously evocative of student life. Very lively and funny and deeply moving.

Comment from Hugh

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Hugh said ago

Visually without charm, Sebastien Gueze pushing his voice too hard, sounded harsh at times. Relocating to 1950s caused many inconsistences for no apparent benefit. If, as the interview with Phyllida LLoyd suggested, we can all identify with the student's experience, why move it in time. The production is self-indulgent like many productions today and having first appeared in 1993 (I think) it is high time it was replaced. Another thing, too many motor cycles (must have been difficult getting one into the garret).

Comment from Opera North

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Opera North said ago

Hello Wendy,

That is a very good question, thanks for asking. The singers in La Bohème don't use any microphones. Usually opera is performed acoustically, without any amplification, and we think this is one of the things that makes it so powerful!

One of the cast members, Lorna James (Musetta), was asked last week in a Q&A what she thought the power of opera is, and she summed it up beautifully:

"The unamplified human voice, supported by orchestra, singing about raw emotions. Does something extraordinary to you."

Glad you and your party enjoyed the performance.

Comment from Wendy McLean

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Wendy McLean said ago

All our party enjoyed the performance, despite two of us being distinctly unmusical. We thought the quality of the voices very good. One of our party wondered if they were using microphones. We would be interested to know whether or not this was the case. We could see no sign of microphones. We feel grateful to the cast for giving us such a pleasant evening.

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What the critics say

you could have heard a pin drop in the Grand Theatre, Leeds

The Telegraph - Read full review

If you only see one film this year, make it this musical.

The Guardian - Read full review

So it's a clever idea on the company's part, in this latest revival, to programme it like a musical (11 performances over two weeks at the Leeds Grand Theatre, then a further five at the Lowry in Salford) – complete with a big glossy programme full of rehearsal photographs – and to double-cast it with youthful talent from all over the world.

Whats on Stage - Read full review

Conductor Andreas Delfs made full use of the mercurial qualities of Puccini’s music, and great ensemble work by the company once again made his masterpiece appear to be refreshingly new.

Bachtrack - Read full review

Additional Information

Cast
  • Mimi GABRIELA IŞTOC
  • Mimi ANITA WATSON
  • Rodolfo SÉBASTIEN GUÈZE
  • Rodolfo JI-MIN PARK
  • Musetta SKY INGRAM
  • Musetta LORNA JAMES
  • Marcello PHILLIP RHODES
  • Marcello DUNCAN ROCK
  • Schaunard GAVAN RING
  • Schaunard JOHN SAVOURNIN
  • Colline JIMMY HOLLIDAY
  • Colline BARNABY REA
  • Benoit/Alcindoro GEOFFREY DOLTON
  • Benoit/Alcindoro JEREMY PEAKER
  • Parpignol PAUL RENDALL
Creative Team
  • Conductor ANDREAS DELFS 29 April; 1, 3, 7, 8 (eve), 9, 10 (mat), 14, 15, 17 (eve) May
  • Conductor ILYICH RIVAS 2 (eve), 3 (mat), 7 (mat), 10 (eve), 16, 17 (mat) May
  • Director PHYLLIDA LLOYD
  • Revival Director MICHAEL BARKER-CAVEN
  • Original Set & Costume Designer ANTHONY WARD
  • Original Lighting Designer RICK FISHER
  • Choreographer QUINNY SACKS
  • Revival Choreographer MAXINE BRAHAM
Restaurant Deals

The extraordinary chefs of Brasserie Blanc have teamed up with Opera North to create a unique and specially themed menu inspired by our upcoming production of La Bohème. After all, a night at the opera is never complete without an exquisite meal to accompany it... and we almost forgot to mention the complimentary glass of bubbly upon arrival!

Offer: For just £20 per person, you'll receive an perfectly crafted 3-course dinner and a glass of sparkling wine to tingle your taste-buds! Located just a 10-minute walk from the Leeds Grand Theatre, patrons can dine in fine style with plenty of time before the curtains open!

To book this package, please call Brasserie Blanc and quote Opera North: 0113 220 6060
Dates valid: 29 April - 10 May, from 5.30pm

Family Workshop

Sat 10 May 2.30pm, Leeds Grand Theatre

Join us for a participatory workshop for all the family to explore the story and music of Puccini’s La Bohème. Led by workshop leader, pianist and presenter Dominic Harlan, get up-close to the characters, raise your own voice and be prepared to play!

Full details can be found here

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