This will be a repertoire production of Puccini's bittersweet tale of youth, La Bohème. This timeless work is popular the world over, and among the standards that are a must for any true opera house. It contrasts the pure love between the poet Rodolfo and the seamstress Mimi with that of the painter Marcello and his lover Musetta. The opera depicts the youth of the Paris of that day, and in four acts, it follows the introduction-development-denouement-conclusion pattern of dramatic structure. All the characters feel true to life. La Bohème is, along with Tosca and Madame Butterfly, considered one of Puccini's three operatic masterpieces. At the time of the NNTT premiere in 2003, the production by Aguni Jun received highly praise. Aguni used scrim curtain and set pieces to great effect to create an aerial view of Paris. The rendering of the heartbreaking final scene of the ill-fated Mimi was a particular highlight. The conductor and singers may change from production to production, but it is that which makes watching repertoire works such as this so enjoyable.
The impoverished poet Rodolfo and the painter Marcello share a garret in 1830s Paris. On Christmas Eve, Rodolfo meets his neighbor Mimi and they quickly fall in love. Meanwhile, Marcello and Musetta are reunited after a chance meeting at a cafe, causing the young companions to sing of the magnificence of love. However, concern over Mimi's illness causes she and Rodolfo to part. Time passes and Musetta brings a dying Mimi to Rodolfo. As he holds her, Mimi silently breathes her last breath, bringing Rodolfo to bitter tears.