Run time: Approx. 1 hr 15 mins with no intermission
Language: Italian (with Cantonese Narration) | Surtitle: Chinese / English
La Bohème is the masterpiece of Italian opera master Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), created at the peak of his career and the most frequently played and popular work in major opera houses around the world. Director Lo King-man has rewritten the most beautiful song in the opera into a touching singing scene. Interspersed between these scenes, the author of the original novel writer Henri Murger (1822-1861) appears as a character, observing the action and telling the audience this touching love story in person. The plot describes the struggle for survival of a group of poor artists in the Latin Quarter of Paris, where they experience happiness and sorrow, love and hate. The play is accompanied throughout by sentimental music that beautifully conveys its powerful emotion. La Bohème is an undoubted treasure and eternal masterpiece in praise of art and love.
It’s Christmas Eve in the Parisian Latin Quarter and four struggling artists are meeting to dine together at the Cafe Momus. The poet Rodolfo needs to meet a deadline and asks his friends to reserve a seat for him. Someone knocks on his door. Seamstress Mimi holds a candle and asks for a light. She suddenly feels queasy and drops her key. The two search for it in the dark. Rodolfo takes Mimi’s hand and tells her all about his career and dreams. Mimi also shares her life experience. Under the moonlight, they declare their love for each other.
In front of Cafe Momus, a large crowd has gathered and is restless. The poet introduces Mimi to his three friends. Musetta, the ex-girlfriend of the painter Marcello, who is there with her new lover Alcindoro, a government minister, for dinner. Coquettish Musetta is actually still in love with the painter. She sends the minister away on a false errand while she rekindles her love with Marcello. Marcello and Musetta are now employed in a tavern near a toll gate in Paris. One day in winter, Mimi, who is ill, comes to the tavern in the morning and complains to Marcello in tears about Rodolfo’s terrible jealousy. When Rodolfo arrives to meet Marcello, Mimi hides in a corner. Rodolfo reveals that because of Mimi’s deteriorating health, he will leave her so that she can find someone better. Mimi reveals herself and sadly bids Rodolfo farewell. They finally agree to be together until the coming spring. Meanwhile, Marcello quarrels with Musetta for always trying to seduce the guests at the tavern. She teases him and finally they break up.
Through pining for their ex-girlfriends, the poet and the painter are both distracted from their work. Musetta appears suddenly and announces that Mimi is seriously ill, before fainting in the doorway. Rodolfo brings her indoors. The friends sell their jewellery and clothes to buy a muff and drugs for Mimi. The poet and the seamstress, alone in the shabby room, recall the good old days. When the friends return, Mimi succumbs to her illness and dies. Rodolfo is immersed in grief.
Each performance consists of eleven musical numbers:
- Poet Encounters with Seamstress
- Poet’s Dream
- Mimi’s Life Experience
- The Vow of Love under the Moon
- Gathering at Cafe Momus
- The Song of Musetta
- Farewell and No more Hatred
- Stay Together until Next Spring
- Cannot Forget the Lost Warmth
- Back Home
- Love like a Deep Sea
₍₁₎ 2/4, 11PM | ₍₂₎ 2/4, 3PM | ₍₃₎ 3/4, 3PM
Arts Experience Scheme for Senior Secondary Students
The Charm of Performing Arts
The arts bring to students experiences that connect life inside and outside the campus.
When textual narrative turns into live performance, lines, movements, lightings and shades on stage cast a spell of charm on the audience. This magical power created by stage performance calls for rumination and reflection, leaving the audience with sentiments of gratification when the curtain falls.
In fact, these arts groups don’t just perform. Their artists will also move downstage to share their creative process as well as the concept and structure of their works at pre/post-performance discussions and workshops, and share with participants on a wide range of topics from the history of drama to the symbolic meaning of a certain prop. These extension activities will reveal to students the flow of stage production and the many facets of performing arts.
Live performance exudes unparalleled charm in the eye of the audience, and gives artists a sense of fulfillment when they engage their audience and receive their warm applause. We believe that engaging in performing arts will bring enlightening experiences to audience and performers alike, and make them more understanding towards others and curious about life. We therefore look forward to the continuous support of principals and teachers to the Scheme. Let’s work together to enrich the arts experience of students and nurture young theatregoers.
* Since Audience Building Office (AB Office) under the Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD)’s inception in the 2009/10 academic year, the Arts Experience Scheme for Senior Secondary Students by has been providing Other Learning Experiences in Aesthetic Development under the New Senior Secondary School Curriculum and encouraging personal visits to professional performing venues as well as immersion in the arts for enrichment of learning experience.
* Acknowledgement: The Arts Experience Scheme for Senior Secondary Students is supported by the Education Bureau.