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Review: LA VIE BOHEME at Polish National Opera

A new, tasteful version of Puccini's masterpiece.

By: Jun. 21, 2024
Review: LA VIE BOHEME at Polish National Opera  Image
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This is my very first time at the Polish National Opera and as we all know, first times can be overrated. This is certainly not the case here.

Composed at the end of the 19th century, this opera is one of Puccini's most popular masterpieces and is presented on the Polish stage by Barbara Wysocka in a new modern Review: LA VIE BOHEME at Polish National Opera  Imageversion. I loved the style of this rendition, there's a pink wooden hat, an electric guitar, and a red convertible and it all blends into a great, cohesive, and eye-catching set-up. Barbara Hanicka's scenography is simple, symbolic but impressive and goes straight to the point. There are no disturbing colors, unfortunate elements, or unnecessary parts. Brilliant move since the real talent has space to shine. Huge metal plate: La vie boheme symbolizes the light and awesomeness of life in the first part and the fall into cold, pain, and oblivion (personally, that's all I think about winter) in the second. It’s consistent and indecent. Julia Kornacka's costumes are perfectly aligned with the whole image and made with brilliant attention to detail. This is what we are seeing, then step by step, piece by piece, it is getting better and fresher.

You are immersed in the darkness of a Parisian night and all you are missing is a homeless cat walking lazily on the sloping roofs (this comes from someone who has lived in Paris), the moon, the atmosphere, everything there it is! Then you hear incredible voices and… there is no going back, you are officially enchanted. As long as Rodolfo (Long Long) is exquisite, not only his voice but also his appearance on stage is simply wow. He is full of passion and has an energy that could power a small town. He makes a nice mix not only with a delicate Mimi (the astonishing Adriana Ferfecka) but also with his squat men, Marcello (Szymon Mechlinski), Colline (Jerzy Butryn), and Schaunard (Slawomir Kowalewski). They are all full of life, freedom, and enthusiasm.

The magic of this show is that there is this undeniable energy when it comes to intimate Review: LA VIE BOHEME at Polish National Opera  Imagescenes and at the same time we take on group scenes which are something BIG. Looking at them, you get the impression that they have their gravitational pull, in a word: impressive! This is a show about friendship, about love that comes and goes, about the people you love, and about struggling artists. It’s about emotions, a big city, loss, and life.

I love when people spontaneously shout: bravo and applaud after a song and this was very often during the show (no wonder) but it says a lot not only about the quality of what is happening on stage but also about the audience who appreciates it enough to applaud these scenes.

The show is perfect for beginner opera lovers not only because this version is short (2 hours + intermission) but also because of a contemporary vision without unnecessary pomp with additional elements.

You will love it and wish it was longer!

Photo: Krzysztof Bielinski


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