4 biggest songs to hear in La Boheme by Opera Australia

You can be a veteran opera-goer or a first-timer, the effect of La Boheme (Puccini) are always the same: complete transfixation.

There’s something to be said for the opera’s ability to suck everyone in with the tale of fragility, love and untimely death that draws-out the inner emotion from us all.

Puccini was known to have put big stories into the lives of little people with simple tales told well, and the one of his timeless classic, La Boheme, does that all too well.

Complete with an international mixing pot of cast this spring-summer season of opera by Opera Australia, that includes the likes of Joyce El-Khoury (Mimi, Maija Kovalevska (2, 4, 9, 11, 21, 23, 31 Jan; 2 Feb–28 Mar)), the Australian production company has turned out another seat-filler of a presentation.

Here are the four biggest songs of La Boheme to listen out for in this season’s production…

Che gelida manina

What an icy little hand’

The first arias of many between protagonists Rodolfo (Ivan Magrì (Jan 3, 5, 8, 10, 12, 17, 19 Jan, and Diego Torre (2, 4, 9, 11, 21, 23, 31 Jan; 2 Feb–28 Mar)) and Mimi, it’s the moment the two characters fall in love as they fumble around for a lost house key.


Quando m’en vo

When I go along (Musetta’s Waltz)

Musetta is Marcello’s occasional girlfriend, who in a club in Paris one night, sings about her apparent irresistibility. She’s stunning, and tries to reclaim the attention of Marcello and kicks her husband out of the bar.


Si, mi chiamo Mimi

Yes, my name is Mimi

Mimi’s song is a feeble one that introduces her to Rodolfo, her neighbour, as she meets him for the first time. It really places her as the pivotal character in the storyline, as well as frames her as the meek and delicate thing she really is.


O, soave fanciulla

Oh, sweet little lady

As Mimi is bathed in moonlight as she stands in Rodolfo’s apartment, the two realise they’re in love. Rodolfo suggests remaining at home with Mimì, but she decides to accompany him to the Cafe with his friends, where Musetta sings her song (above). As they leave, they sing of their newfound love.


La Boheme by Opera Australia is on at the Joan Sutherland Theatre at the Sydney Opera House from now until 28 March. See more at their website.