La Bohème

Giacomo Puccini

La Bohème

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Four brilliant casts take the stage as Puccini’s lovesick young bohemians in Franco Zeffirelli’s picturesque production. Sopranos Ailyn Pérez, Eleonora Buratto, Kristina Mkhitaryan, and Corinne Winters alternate as the delicate seamstress Mimì, and tenors Dmytro Popov, Matthew Polenzani,  and Joseph Calleja share the role of the enamored poet Rodolfo. Maestros Kensho Watanabe, Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Alexander Soddy, and Riccardo Frizza take the podium for performances throughout the season.

Production a gift of Mrs. Donald D. Harrington

Revival a gift of Mastercard and the Metropolitan Opera Club

The Met is grateful to C. Graham Berwind, III for sponsoring the refurbishment of the La Bohème sets


Languages sung in La Bohème

Sung In



Title languages displayed for La Bohème

Met Titles In

  • English
  • German
  • Spanish
  • Italian


Timeline for the show, La Bohème

Estimated Run Time

3 hrs

  • House Opens

  • Acts I and II

    60 mins

  • Intermission

    35 mins

  • Act III

    25 mins

  • Intermission

    30 mins

  • Act IV

    30 mins

  • Opera Ends

La Bohème

World premiere: Teatro Regio, Turin, 1896. La Bohème, the passionate, timeless, and indelible story of love among young artists in Paris, can stake its claim as the world’s most popular opera. It has a marvelous ability to make a powerful first impression and to reveal unsuspected treasures after dozens of hearings. At first glance, La Bohème is the definitive depiction of the joys and sorrows of love and loss; on closer inspection, it reveals the deep emotional significance hidden in the trivial things—a bonnet, an old overcoat, a chance meeting with a neighbor—that make up our everyday lives.


Giacomo Puccini (1858–1924) was immensely popular in his own lifetime, and his mature works remain staples in the repertory of most of the world’s opera companies. His librettists for La Bohème, Giuseppe Giacosa (1847–1906) and Luigi Illica (1857–1919), also collaborated with him on his next two operas, Tosca and Madama Butterfly. Giacosa, a dramatist, was responsible for the stories and Illica, a poet, worked primarily on the words themselves.


Franco Zeffirelli


Franco Zeffirelli


Peter J. Hall


Gil Wechsler

Headshot of Giacomo Puccini


Giacomo Puccini


La Bohème

The libretto sets the action in Paris, circa 1830. This is not a random setting, but rather reflects the issues and concerns of a particular time when, following the upheavals of revolution and war, French artists had lost their traditional support base of aristocracy and church. The story centers on self-conscious youth at odds with mainstream society—a Bohemian ambience that is clearly recognizable in any modern urban center. La Bohème captures this ethos in its earliest days.


Lyrical and touchingly beautiful, the score of La Bohème exerts an immediate emotional pull. Many of its most memorable melodies are built incrementally, with small intervals between the notes that carry the listener with them on their lyrical path. This is a distinct contrast to the grand leaps and dives that earlier operas often depended on for emotional effect. La Bohème’s melodic structure perfectly captures the “small people” (as Puccini called them) of the drama and the details of everyday life.

La Bohème