Puccini's Bohemian Rhapsody: 10 FAQs

Cincinnati Opera's 2017 season opens with one of the most beloved operas of all time, Puccini's La Bohème. Read on for details on the set, cast, ticket-buying tips, and more!

1. What’s the story?
La Bohème is a classic love story between two impoverished young Parisians. She’s a seamstress and he’s a poet. It was inspired by real-life bohemians who lived and loved in the 1840s.

2. What about the set and costumes?
The “look” of our 2017 Bohème is inspired by iconic black-and-white photos of Paris in the 1930s—a couple at a corner table in a café, a fur-collared madame with countless bracelets and rings, a man on the street in silhouette wearing a fedora and topcoat. Just Google "Bressaï images," and you’ll see.

3. Who’s singing?
The lovely soprano Nicole Cabell returns to sing Mimì in her fifth engagement with Cincinnati Opera. Sean Panikkar, an American tenor of Sri Lankan heritage who recently made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera, appears with us for the first time as the writer Rodolfo.

4. Is the CSO’s Music Director conducting?
Yes! We’re particularly delighted to welcome Louis Langrée to conduct all four performances of La Bohème. In addition to serving as Music Director for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Maestro Langrée is a regular at the Metropolitan Opera and the acclaimed Vienna State Opera, among others.

5. What is the running time?
Performances of Bohème will last 2 hours and 15 minutes. (This includes one intermission.)

6. You’re at the Aronoff—what’s that like?
Our audience really enjoyed being at the Aronoff last year. From patron amenities to sightlines to first-rate acoustics, opera at the Aronoff was excellent. Here’s one revealing fact: 92% of our Tosca audience last year rated the acoustics at the Aronoff as "Good" or "Excellent." And one regular wrote, “This was my first trip to the Aronoff. It’s a wonderful facility and was an admirable stand-in for Music Hall.” Looking ahead to next season, construction is on track for a reopening of Music Hall in October and our return in the summer of 2018.

7. When was the last time Cincinnati Opera did La Bohème?
It’s been nearly seven years since our last performance of La Bohème. It was the final opera of our 2010 season in a production that featured Ailyn Pérez and Stephen Costello. You can watch a video of their singing the first-act duet from Bohème at the piano here.

8. Where should I sit and how much are tickets?
All available seats at the Aronoff offer an unobstructed view of the stage. For the very best location, consider seats in the center section of the orchestra or the center section of the loge. And remember to buy early for best selection and price. Prices start at about $45. Currently, you’ll find better availability for the June 22 and 24 performances.

9. How do I purchase tickets?
Many patrons prefer to purchase online because the system allows you to browse available inventory and select individual seats for purchase. Here’s a link to the Bohème performances. We’re also happy to take your order over the phone during box office hours: Monday thru Friday from 10 to 5. Our box office team will be very happy to help you find the best seats for your budget.

10. Where can I learn more?
Click here for complete information. You can learn about our cast, read a new essay by Opera 101 author Fred Plotkin, and more.