CULTURE

The return of ‘La Boheme’

One of the National Opera’s most popular productions, Giacomo Puccini’s «La Boheme,» returns to the Olympia theater this month. Directed by Lina Wertmuller, the opera opens next Saturday, January 15. The production’s stage and costume design is by Enrico Job, while the cast features prominent local and international soloists including Katerina Costea, Antonia Kalogirou, Cesar Guitierrez and Kiros Paschalidis, among others. The National Opera’s orchestra will be conducted by Nikos Athinaios. The opera narrates the bohemian, carefree life of a group of young artists living in late 19th century Paris. Sweet, sensitive Mimi meets four students living in the Quartier Latin. She quickly falls in love with the gang’s poet, Rodolphe. As «La Boheme» unfolds, however, their passionate love affair ends when Mimi ultimately dies of consumption. Together with Puccini’s other works, «La Boheme» is credited with offering Italian opera a gust of much-needed fresh air when the genre was going through a dangerous crisis in the beginning of the 20th century. Besides next week’s premiere, more shows have been scheduled for January 16, 18, 19 and 21. ‘La Boheme,’ at the National Opera’s Olympia Theater, 59-61 Academias, tel 210.364.3700.