Giacomo Puccini's most enduring opera, La Boheme, revolves around four bohemian-type artists in 1830s Paris. To update the piece, the producers at the American Opera Music Theatre Company moved the setting to beatnik-era Greenwich Village, but the characters and story line remain the same. In the opening scene, Marcello, a painter, and Rodolfo, a poet, try to work in the cold as the last embers of a stove fire smolder. When their roommates, Colline, a philosopher, and Schaunard, a musician, return home, the group blows off the landlord -- who's come looking for the rent -- and, in true starving-artist fashion, head for the local cafe. Except for Rodolfo, that is. He stays behind and, while his friends are out, falls in love with a sickly neighbor, Mimi, whose illness eventually brings the group closer.
April 3-6, 2009