Photo credit: Yves Renaud




The Opéra de Montréal is kicking off its online season with a classic among classics: La bohème, by Puccini, one of the most well-loved works in the opera repertoire. This Opéra de Montréal production premiered in 2011 and was presented again in 2017 in Salle Wilfrid-Pelletier at Place des Arts, in addition to being recorded and simulcast to a crowd in Percival Molson Stadium on the occasion of the City of Montreal’s 375th anniversary. This memorable version will be made available as a webcast on October 22 at 7:30 pm—for free, upon registration—via the Opéra de Montréal’s website.


La bohème will remain available free of charge until November 5, on both the Opéra de Montréal’s website and Télé-Québec’s La Fabrique culturelle, the official webcast partner for La bohème. La Fabrique culturelle is a long-standing Opéra de Montréal partner and, with this webcast’s primary objective of making local opera available to all Quebecers, this relationship is a natural one. The webcast will allow us to reach a wide audience of hardcore fans and curious viewers all across the province. More content will also be made available on the Opéra de Montréal’s partner space on La Fabrique culturelle in the coming weeks, introducing the greatest possible number of Quebecers to our art form.


In a cold garret in Paris, the young poet Rodolfo is shivering with his friend Marcello, the painter. They are joined by some other friends: Colline the philosopher and Schaunard the musician. The friends comfort each other and laugh in despair, awaiting better days. It’s Christmas, but instead of going out to celebrate at the café with the rest of the gang, Rodolfo stays in to write. He is not alone for long: Mimì, a young and beautiful neighbour, knocks on his door. Her candle has gone out, and she is out of matches… But rather than a candle, it is a passion that is ignited. That same evening, Marcello reconciles for the umpteenth time with his explosive Musetta. The couples get together and break apart with the coming and going of the seasons. But how can they love each other when they are dying of hunger? Jealousy eats at Rodolfo, Mimì is worn down by illness. Despite youth, despite friendship, death awaits at the end of the road… but it is sung so beautifully!


For this revival of the 2011 production, the Opéra de Montréal has brought together a young cast made up entirely of Canadian artists. Leading the pack with her ever-increasing talent is soprano France Bellemare; this winner of the Concours musical international de Montréal in June 2015 and Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation grant recipient (2013-2015) is furthering her promising career with her portrayal of Mimì. Her Rodolfo is Quebec tenor Luc Robert, who recently made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera. His “bohemian” friends are portrayed by several other former Atelier lyrique de l’Opéra de Montréal artists: soprano Lucia Cesaroni (Musetta), baritone Justin Welsh (Marcello), baritone Christopher Dunham (Schaunard), and bass-baritone Alexandre Sylvestre, who reprises his role of Colline. Parpignol is sung by eclectic tenor Isabeau ProulxLemire, a current member of the Atelier lyrique; bass-baritone Clermont Tremblay is the Customs Officer;bass Claude Grenier sings Alcindoro/Benoît; and bass Alain Duguay portrays the Sergeant. Directing the production is Alain Gauthier, who has won praise for his inventive and classic stagings, and more recently for Elektra, which left its mark on the Montreal scene in 2015. Set design is by Olivier Landreville, active both on the theatre scene and on television, who also designed Pagliacci/Schicchi for the company in 2009, recipient of the Opus Award for “Show of the Year.” Conductor James Meena leads the Orchestre Métropolitain, lighting is by Claude Accolas, and costumes are by the Opéra de Montréal.

OperaLa bohème

Genre: Opera

Structure: Four acts

Language: Italian with English and French surtitles

Libretto: Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa

Premiere: Teatro Regio, Turin, February 1st, 1896

Production: Opéra de Montréal, 2011

Last presented at the Opéra de Montréal: May 2011


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