Alessio Arduini‘s Impressions After the First Rehearsals of La bohème
published in: Opera, General
In the magical framework of Salzburg, after the first part of rehearsals, what will be the final performance of La bohème
is beginning to emerge clearly, as we wait for the imminent start of musical rehearsals with Maestro Daniele Gatti. Having the fortune to work with artists of incredible experience and skills, I note with admiration how they still show a great passion in their work and how they seek to make, with the director’s ideas, the show as interesting as possible.
The timing of the rehearsals is planned perfectly by the organization of the theatre, and this allows the cast to work calmly and in the best possible environment. The work, being based on youthful relationships between inseparable friends, lends itself to complex stage movements; sometimes challenging on a physical level, it requires more concentration to ensure that music and art are not adversely affected. Puccini's music has an emotional effect so strong that it leaves an indelible impression at first hearing, and even at the nth repetition, it never fails to move. The mix of these characteristics makes Bohème an opera very much appreciated by the public and consequently performed a lot in theatres. In addition, as an interpreter it is always nice to listen to these melodies, despite prolonged rehearsals or numerous performances, so that there is always true emotion every time you finish the opera. La bohème as desired by director Damiano Michieletto is a modern work, with the task of updating the libretto of G. Giacosa and L. Illica, which basically does not lend itself to free interpretations. While the result of a modern work is to amaze and innovate the theatre, on the other hand there is a danger of misunderstanding and inconsistencies. The directorial challenge is precisely to convince the audience that what they are looking at is not only pleasant, but downright believable. Michieletto tries to offer well-defined characters with individual personalities, to make sure that they can emerge and make the show as complete as possible, by changing them on the basis of the events that take place in the opera. The hardest part for transposing the work into a modern Bohème is the tragedy of the death of Mimi: although at the time of the libretto the possibility of an early death was quite likely, nowadays it is rare. In this case the director has created a basic idea which is very credible, which viewers will appreciate.
In any case, regardless of the nature of the characters, what the music and the libretto convey are the emotions, the most important and true ones life can give us: love and friendship. That's why you can't not have a shiver down the spine when Rodolfo, in tears, understands that Mimi's smile was the last of her life.