By Maria Gregoriou
Are you a fan of musicals? Do you like the opera and the idea of the starving artist and the tortured soul? More to the point, would you like to be carried away to another world – instead of this very hot one we find ourselves in now – on Sunday by watching a recorded version of Giacomo Puccini’s La Boheme? Well, if so, you can do just that in all major cities as K-cineplex will be screening the four-act opera at 8.30pm.
If you’ve seen the movie version of the rock musical Rent about a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and singing about how ‘there is no other day than today,’ then you already have a firm grip on the opera as Rent was based on Puccini’s work.
The screening, which will run just over two hours, was recorded live from the Salzburg Festival on August 1, 2012.
The star cast, including Piotr Beczala, Anna Netrebko, and Massimo Cavalletti, are led by conductor Daniele Gatti and directed by Damiano Michieletto.
Michieletto’s main goal in this production was to find a contemporary form for the story and to capture the attitude towards life of young people today. He captures the youths who stand up for their passions, pursue their visions and dare to seek out new paths in art – even if (for all their aspirations) they fail grandly.
The frequently-performed opera (just to get you into the swing of things a little) begins on Christmas Eve with poet Rodolfo, painter Marcello and philosopher Colline, who are trying to keep warm. Another friend, musician Schaunard who has had some success with his art, arrives with food but suggests they go out.
After a falling-out with the landlord and a matter of the rent being raised, all but Rodolfo go out. This is when Mimi – a seamstress – knocks on the door, asks for a candle and faints. In good old romantic fashion, Rodolfo is struck by her beauty. By the end of the first act they are very much attracted to each other.
But things never did run smoothly in the course of love, and jealousy gets in the way.
Without giving the end away we will only say that even though the artists are very poor, they all manage to pull together to purchase the necessary items in the hope of saving a life.
Now, whether or not the life is saved is another story, but one thing can be said for sure: human will, companionship and friendship will always go the extra mile to prevent tragedy from replacing hope.
The poet in all of us will be moved to tears, so make sure to take some tissues with you.
Screening of the opera as recorded from the Salzburg Festival. August 16. K-cineplex Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paphos. 8.30pm. €10. Tel: 24-819022