La bohème

January 2024

Composer: Giacomo Puccini
Librettist: Luigi Illica & Giuseppe Giacosa
Premiere Performance: February 1, 1896, Teatro Regio, Turin

Giacomo Puccini’s transcendent masterpiece La bohème captures the essence of love, loss, and life. This tragic story of four friends clinging to each other as harsh realities of life threaten to tear them apart has been told time and again–now, discover its origin as one of the greatest operas ever written. Acclaimed tenor Long Long joins the cast as Rodolfo in The Atlanta Opera’s heart-wrenching production that takes the stage at the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.

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Giacomo Puccini


Giacomo Puccini (Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini) was born on December 22, 1858 in Lucca, Italy. He was one of the greatest exponents of operatic realism, who virtually brought the history of Italian opera to an end. His mature operas included La Bohème (1896), Tosca (1900), Madama Butterfly (1904), and Turandot (left incomplete).

Puccini’s conception of diatonic melody is rooted in the tradition of 19th-century Italian opera, but his harmonic and orchestral style indicate that he was also aware of contemporary developments, notably the work of the Impressionists and of Stravinsky. Though he allowed the orchestra a more active role, he upheld the traditional vocal style of Italian opera, in which the singers carry the burden of the music. In many ways a typical fin de siècle artist, Puccini nevertheless can be ranked as the greatest exponent of operatic realism.

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Luigi Illica


Luigi Illica (9 May 1857 – 16 December 1919) was an Italian librettist who wrote for Giacomo Puccini (usually with Giuseppe Giacosa), Pietro Mascagni, Alfredo Catalani, Umberto Giordano, Baron Alberto Franchetti and other important Italian composers. His most famous opera libretti are those for La bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly and Andrea Chénier.

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Giuseppe Giacosa


He was born in Colleretto Parella, now Colleretto Giacosa, near Turin. His father was a magistrate. Giuseppe went to the University of Turin, studying in the University of Turin, Faculty of Law. Though he gained a degree in law, he did not pursue a legal career.

He gained initial fame for his play Una Partita a Scacchi (“A Game of Chess”) in 1871. His main field was playwriting, which he accomplished with both insight and simplicity, using subjects set in Piedmont and themes addressing contemporary bourgeois values. He wrote La signora di Challant (La Dame de Challant, The Lady of Challand), based on a novella by Matteo Bandello, for noted French actress Sarah Bernhardt, produced in New York in 1891.

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Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre

Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre is a world-class facility, creating diverse cultural, educational and entertainment experiences that will promote accessibility to the arts. Conveniently located in northwest Atlanta, at 2800 Cobb Galleria Parkway at Akers Mill Road, adjacent to I-75 inside I-285.