• Giacomo Puccini
  • November 2023
  • Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin

La bohème

The Paris of love and art. A poet, a painter, a musician and a philosopher. Living hand to mouth in a freezing garret. Christmas cheer and a heart won by the girl next door. The tragedies of love and poverty.

Puccini’s best-loved opera is touching, comic, realistic and romantic, true for any time in which deep bonds can flower in the face of adversity.

Running time 2 hours and 15 minutes including interval.

Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

La bohème...In Focus
A free online introduction to the opera by Michael Lee.
Thursday 16 November 7pm.

Audio Described Performance
An Audio Described performance for blind and visually impaired patrons. including a Touch Tour taking place at 3:30pm.
Sunday 26 November 5pm.


Join the conversation #INOBoheme

A co-production with Opéra Orchestre national Montpellier, in association with Bord Gáis Energy Theatre.

“Celine Byrne's rich-voiced consumptive Mimì made lovely work of her voluptuous arias” - The Times
“a real find . . . with a power and clarity which appears to increase at the top of his register” - Bachtrack on Merūnas Vitulskis
“Sarah Brady enchants with her crystal clear soprano” - kulturfeder.de
“it’s an opera for young singers about young people — happy and full of hope, joking about terrible things. They discover life, but also death.” - Roberto Alagna
“I wish there to be as much singing, as much melody, as possible” - Giacomo Puccini on La bohème
“even I leave the theatre, when I can get a ticket, humming my lost innocence” - Igor Stravinsky

Cast and Creative Team


Celine Byrne Mimì
Sarah Brady Musetta
Merūnas Vitulskis Rodolfo
Iurii Samoilov Marcello
Gyula Nagy Schaunard
Lukas Jakobski Colline
Eddie Wade Benoît, Alcindoro
Fearghal Curtis Parpignol
David Scott Doganiere
Kevin Neville Sergente
Irish National Opera Orchestra
Irish National Opera Chorus
Independent Theatre Workshop Children’s Chorus

Creative Team

Sergio Alapont Conductor
Orpha Phelan Director
Nicky Shaw Set & Costume Designer
Matthew Haskins Lighting Designer
Muirne Bloomer Choreographer
Elaine Kelly Chorus Director
Chris Kelly Assistant Director
Richard McGrath Répétiteur
Annalisa Monticelli Language Coach




It’s Christmas Eve and the Bohemians are at home. Rodolfo, a writer, is working on a newspaper article while Marcello, an artist, is painting The Red Sea. Together with their philosopher friend Colline, they try to stay warm by burning one of Rodolfo’s manuscripts. Celebrations ensue when Schaunard, a musician, arrives home with proper fuel for the fire, food for their stomachs and money for entertainment. The boys are about to leave for a night on the town when Benoît drops by, demanding their overdue rent. Fast thinkers, they pull the wool over their bewildered landlord’s eyes before heading out to enjoy the Christmas festivities. However, Rodolfo must finish his writing assignment first, so he promises to join his friends soon at Café Momus. Mimì, a seamstress who lives nearby, knocks on the door in the search of a neighbour’s help. She seems to be a little unwell, but perks up when Rodolfo invites her in. He’s clearly taken with her and it’s not long before she notices that he’s rather special too. They leave together for Momus.



The streets of Paris are thronged with last- minute shoppers, sellers and revellers. Rodolfo buys a little hat for Mimì as they walk hand in hand through the heaving markets. But Marcello is in a bad mood and is sickened by the cooing of new love. Recently rejected by Musetta, he’s determined to drown his sorrows in drink. It’s not long before Musetta herself turns up with her client, Alcindoro, in tow. When she sees that Marcello is ignoring her, she gets shot of her sugar daddy and uses her unique ways and means to break Marcello. The Bohemians take advantage of the hubbub created by the arrival of a marching band and slip away, leaving their huge bill to be paid by Alcindoro on his return.



It’s the start of the day for some, while for others it’s time to head home to bed after a night out. Musetta and Marcello are trying to make a go of things, and are working together in a bar. Mimì seeks out Marcello in the hope that he can offer her some advice about her relationship with Rodolfo, who, she says, is moody and jealous. She hides when she sees Rodolfo approaching and eavesdrops on his conversation with Marcello. Before long Rodolfo reveals the real reason for his unhappiness: Mimì is dying. When Rodolfo spots Mimì, he attempts to cover up his brutal words. She tries to leave him but he lovingly persuades her to stay with him until the spring. While Mimì and Rodolfo reminisce tenderly, Marcello and Musetta argue bitterly.



Rodolfo and Marcello are almost destitute, with neither love nor creature comfort to soothe them. Still, they try to make the best of things with Schaunard and Colline. But when Musetta bursts in, they sense that things are about to get worse: she has found Mimì, alone and distraught outside. While Rodolfo tries to make Mimì comfortable, the rest of the friends leave to try to scrape together some basics. Alone together at last, Mimì can declare her deep love for Rodolfo. The Bohemians return with a hand warmer, some medicine and some money. But they bring too little, too late.

Discover More

La bohème | Trailer

La bohème | In rehearsals