Iconic Productions: La Bohème

“Having worked in many art forms, I find opera is the most challenging of all, because it is a fusion of all the arts.” – Herbert Ross (Steel Magnolias, The Turning Point) on his first operatic directing experience staging La Bohème at LA Opera in 1992.

Kallen Esperian as Mimi in <em>La Boheme</em> (1993); Photo Credit: Ken Howard

Kallen Esperian as Mimi in La Boheme (1993); Photo Credit: Ken Howard

La Boheme (2012); Photo: Robert Millard

La Bohème (2012); Photo: Robert Millard

Ross’ La Bohème significantly explores the deeper motivations behind Mimi, Musetta and Rodolfo’s actions. The story follows a series of bohemians in Paris (Ross updates the era to 1890s Paris) and centers on the love between Rodolfo and the dying Mimi. In Ross’ vision, Mimi and Musetta have more dimensions than are usually allowed – Musetta is characterized as a woman who demands independence, rather than a shrew, while Mimi is given greater agency and played as if she is not “innocent of experience.”

Can’t get enough of La Bohème? Check out these articles:

Directing La Bohème

Peter Kazaras discusses directing a revival of Herbert Ross’s iconic production.

5 Things You May Not Know About LA Opera’s La Bohème

Before the return of La Bohème in May, here are five things you may not know about this production.

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