When you have nothing but love, you have everything to lose. 

Fall for one of the most popular operas of all time. On a cold Christmas night in bohemian Paris, Mimì knocks on Rodolfo’s door in search of a candle light and a love is sparked that changes their lives forever. But can this love survive the harsh winter?

Set in the bustling clubs and cafés of early-60s Paris, Phyllida Lloyd’s vibrant production is back with an exciting international cast. Puccini’s tale is told through gloriously moving music that perfectly captures both the overwhelming rush of love at first sight, and the utter devastation of loss.

“You can’t help but be swept along with it…. The quality of the vocal performances is superb”
★★★★ — The Stage

‘It still sparkles, it really does… unleashed torrents of powerful emotion…’
★★★★ — Bachtrack


£15 to £75*

Running time
Approximately 2 hours 15 minutes

Sung in Italian with English titles

Get £10 tickets with our Under 30s scheme

*Prices vary by venue. Booking fees may apply.


On Christmas Eve, a group of bohemians living in Paris are barely surviving the harsh winter. They keep warm by feeding their stove with pages from the poet Rodolfo’s latest poem.

When Schaunard the musician arrives with funds from his latest commission, the group celebrate their good fortune. The landlord Benoît arrives, demanding rent but the group get him drunk instead. They all head out to celebrate but Rodolfo stays behind. Whilst alone, his neighbour Mimì knocks at the door asking for a light, as hers has gone out and she cannot find her way in the dark. Rodolfo, instantly infatuated, invites her to the café and they leave together.

On a busy street in the Latin Quarter, Rodolfo and Mimì join the rest of the group at Café Momus. The painter Marcello spots his ex-lover Musetta with her wealthy admirer Alcindoro, though it is clear she has grown bored with him. Longing to return to Marcello, she sings a risqué song in order to get his attention. Musetta then orders Alcindoro away and steals a chance to fall into Marcello’s arms. When the bill arrives for their meal, Musetta declares that Alcindoro will pay for it when he returns, and they quickly flee the scene.

Months later, Rodolfo and Mimì, though now a couple, are weathering tough times. Rodolfo is driven to despair by Mimì’s illness, which he fears is slowly killing her. Knowing that he can do nothing to help in the abject poverty in which they live, he has taken to being jealous and unkind in order to drive her away.

When Mimì discovers this, she confronts Rodolfo and the two agree to separate but are unable to do so right away. They agree to wait until spring. Musetta and Marcello also separate, much less amicably, after a fierce argument.

Spring has come and gone, and Rodolfo and Mimì have separated. Marcello tells Rodolfo that Mimì has since started seeing a wealthy viscount and is living like a queen.

However, Musetta arrives later that day with a desperately ill Mimì, who she found wandering the streets. Together they help her to bed and each rush off to sell their belongings for medicine. Rodolfo and Mimì both declare their love for each other. Mimì is overwhelmed with a violent coughing fit, after which she drifts off to sleep. Shortly after Schaunard announces that she has died and Rodolfo weeps by her side…

Accessible information

The following audio notes give detailed information about the story, the sets and costumes, the cast list, and the dates and venues of the performances. These are to aid customers who are blind or partially sighted. Please note, the story and the details of the sets and costumes contain spoilers, so avoid them if you would prefer not to know what happens!

BSL introduction

Join us for signed performances of Puccini’s La bohème at:

–  Leeds Grand Theatre on Saturday 26 October at 2.30pm
–  The Lowry, Salford Quays on Thursday 14 November at 7.30pm.

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† Cast members will only perform on:

  • Leeds Grand Theatre: 12, 18, 23 (2.30pm), 24 (2.30pm), 26 (7.30pm) October
  • Theatre Royal, Newcastle: 31 October
  • Theatre Royal, Nottingham: 7 November
  • The Lowry, Salford Quays: 12, 15 November

* Cast members will only perform on:

  • Leeds Grand Theatre: 16, 22, 24 (7.30pm), 26 (2.30pm) October
  • Theatre Royal, Newcastle: 29 October; 1 November
  • Theatre Royal, Nottingham: 5, 8 November
  • The Lowry, Salford Quays: 14 November
La bohème

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