Musica Viva La Bohème Pre-performance Talk and Performance

Trailer of the programme (In Cantonese)

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Musica Viva

La Bohème

Musica Viva, a non-profit, educational and arts organisation, was founded in the autumn of 2008 and has been funded by Hong Kong Arts Development Council since July 2009. Musica Viva aims to promote various forms of creative performing arts, special music concerts and performances, opera production, training and performance, and provide creative opportunities for creativity and professional development for young artists. The arts group values the performance style that emphasises refined sense of aesthetics, rich artistic content and concise but detailed interpretation. Artistic Director Lo King-man, former director of the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts, is also an internationally renowned opera director who has directed over a hundred operas in performances throughout Asia, Europe and places across America.

Since its foundation, Musica Viva has performed many grand operas, including Madame Butterfly, The Daughter of the Regiment, The Elixir of Love and Lucia di Lammermoor presented by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, original operas Legend of Cheung Po Tsai representing the HKSAR at the Shanghai World Expo cultural activities, Opera Excerpts for School Culture Day, and Amahl and the Night Visitors, The Story of Carmen and The Story of La Traviata as part of the Arts Experience Scheme for Senior Secondary Students . In addition, Musica Viva has also held a number of Chinese and foreign artistic song concerts and memorial concerts, seminars and related activities for the three great composers Chopin, Schumann and Liszt.

Programme Content

La Bohème is the masterpiece of Italian opera master Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), created at the peak of his career and the most frequently played and popular work in major opera houses around the world. Director Lo King-man has rewritten the most beautiful song in the opera into a touching singing scene. Interspersed between these scenes, the author of the original novel writer Henri Murger (1822-1861) appears as a character, observing the action and telling the audience this touching love story in person. The plot describes the struggle for survival of a group of poor artists in the Latin Quarter of Paris, where they experience happiness and sorrow, love and hate. The play is accompanied throughout by sentimental music that beautifully conveys its powerful emotion. La Bohème is an undoubted treasure and eternal masterpiece in praise of art and love.

It’s Christmas Eve in the Parisian Latin Quarter and four struggling artists are meeting to dine together at the Cafe Momus. The poet Rodolfo needs to meet a deadline and asks his friends to reserve a seat for him. Someone knocks on his door. Seamstress Mimi holds a candle and asks for a light. She suddenly feels queasy and drops her key. The two search for it in the dark. Rodolfo takes Mimi’s hand and tells her all about his career and dreams. Mimi also shares her life experience. Under the moonlight, they declare their love for each other.

In front of Cafe Momus, a large crowd has gathered and is restless. The poet introduces Mimi to his three friends. Musetta, the ex-girlfriend of the painter Marcello, who is there with her new lover Alcindoro, a government minister, for dinner. Coquettish Musetta is actually still in love with the painter. She sends the minister away on a false errand while she rekindles her love with Marcello. Marcello and Musetta are now employed in a tavern near a toll gate in Paris. One day in winter, Mimi, who is ill, comes to the tavern in the morning and complains to Marcello in tears about Rodolfo's terrible jealousy. When Rodolfo arrives to meet Marcello, Mimi hides in a corner. Rodolfo reveals that because of Mimi’s deteriorating health, he will leave her so that she can find someone better. Mimi reveals herself and sadly bids Rodolfo farewell. They finally agree to be together until the coming spring. Meanwhile, Marcello quarrels with Musetta for always trying to seduce the guests at the tavern. She teases him and finally they break up.

Through pining for their ex-girlfriends, the poet and the painter are both distracted from their work. Musetta appears suddenly and announces that Mimi is seriously ill, before fainting in the doorway. Rodolfo brings her indoors. The friends sell their jewellery and clothes to buy a muff and drugs for Mimi. The poet and the seamstress, alone in the shabby room, recall the good old days. When the friends return, Mimi succumbs to her illness and dies. Rodolfo is immersed in grief.

Each performance consists of eleven musical numbers:

  1. Poet Encounters with Seamstress
  2. Poet's Dream
  3. Mimi's Life Experience
  4. The Vow of Love under the Moon
  5. Gathering at Cafe Momus
  6. The Song of Musetta
  7. Farewell and No more Hatred
  8. Stay Together until Next Spring
  9. Cannot Forget the Lost Warmth
  10. Back Home
  11. Love like a Deep Sea

Production Team
Producer and Director: Lo King-man
Musica Viva Chorus and Chamber Ensemble


Programme Details

Programme Schedule 2.4.2014 (Wed) 11am & 3pm
3.4.2014 (Thu) 3pm
Auditorium, Kwai Tsing Theatre
Ticket $ 40 (Students, Teachers)
Quota 800/performance
Duration 1 hr 15 mins with no intermission
Language Italian (with Chinese and English surtitles and Cantonese Narration)
Pre-performance Workshop
  • Nature and characteristics of western opera
  • Demonstrations on the art of operatic singing
  • Techniques and creative process of opera production
Date Feb-Mar 2014
(actual date and time to be arranged with participating schools)
Duration 1 hour
Language Cantonese or English
Remark For purchase of 150 tickets or more, a pre-performance talk will be conducted in school premises.
For fewer than 150 participants from a single school, students and teachers are invited to attend talks held at LCSD venues.


2591 1717 (LCSD)

Download Application Form (Chinese version only)