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The Opera, La Bohem

            In this particular adaptation of Puccini's La Boheme, Baz Luhrmann, the director transported the settings to the slumps of Paris in 1958. The time period remained unchanged, within two hours, the winter through spring love story unfolded in front of the audience's eyes. Despite the contemporary presentation, the opera was not consumed by the postmodernist ridiculousness that afflicted Luhrmann's Hollywood big screen outing ""Romeo + Juliet-. The intelligence and imagination with which Luhrmann matched the bohemianism of Puccini's era with one closer to our own must be rightfully given credit. This production stayed true to the essence of Puccini's opera. His unique talent to create a world of sight, sound and feeling that takes one on a thrilling and emotional journey to a whole new area.
             The setting is essentially that of a stage within a stage. That it, a 360o revolving stage was set upon the main stage area, with the orchestra pit in the front part (refer to Appendix 1 for graphical representation). Minimalism was also reflected in that the onstage furnishing was reduced from that prescribed by the authentic opera. A bathtub was used in place of a table, an armchair for a bed, etc. These allowed more mobility during scenes changes, facilitating the transition and hasten the change of acts. Being a contemporary adaptation set in 1958, the costumes donned by the cast were also different from the original. Gone were the frocks of the late 19th century (think "Little Woman- the movie), in replacement were more modernized coats and dresses. .
             Act 1 started off with Rodolfo and Marcello unable to concentrate on their work because of the terrible cold, which led the former to burning his manuscripts to keep them warm. Rodolfo's action seems to imply that his poetry is worthless as compared to his survival. The mood in this act is constantly changing as well. These changes are well portrayed by the characters on stage as well as the music from the orchestra.

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