A Bohemian rhapsody on the Hanoi stage

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The second most frequently performed opera in the world, La Bohème (The Bohemians), will hit the Hanoi Opera House for a two-night engagement April 27-28.

As a part of the standard Italian opera repertory, La Bohème is an opera in four acts by Giacomo Puccini to an Italian libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger.

The world première performance of La Bohème was in Turin on February 1, 1896 at the Teatro Regio Torino) and conducted by the young Arturo Toscanini.

It essentially focuses on the love between a tailor called Mimì and a young poet Rodolfo. They almost immediately fall in love with each other, but Rodolfo later wants to leave Mimì because of her flirtatious behavior. However, Mimì also happens to be mortally ill, and Rodolfo feels guilty, since their life together had likely worsened her health. They reunite for a brief moment at the end before Mimì dies.

The two performances, conducted by Graham Sutcliffe from the UK, and directed by Marten Forslund (Sweden) with Vietnamese performers, are co-organized by the Vietnam National Opera and Ballet, the Hanoi International Choir, and the Children's Choir.

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