GIACOMO Puccini’s La Bohéme is a classic opera featured on theatre programmes the world over. Bratislava will get its own new staging (it was first played here in 1922), this time directed by legendary Peter Konwitschny, from Germany, and conducted by the head of the Bratislava opera section, Friedrich Haider.

La Bohéme will open on January 31 (with the premiere by an alternate cast on February 1) in the New Hall of the Slovak National Theatre in Bratislava.

“Konwitschny has returned to Bratislava to stage this work of Puccini’s, yet another of his productions at the SND in Bratislava, following Eugene Onegin and Madame Butterfly,” the theatre informs, adding that his interpretation gives the piece a new shape, and is easier to comprehend for viewers outside the circle of hardcore opera fans. His portrayal of the beautiful and sad story of four penniless young men is unsentimental, simple and convincing, with scenes that radiate wit, fun and an often black sense of humour. The director’s treatment of the characters is filled with compassion.

The cast includes Kyungho Kim (alternated by Tomáš Juhás and Ľudovít Ludha), Pavol Remenár (alternated by Daniel Čapkovič and Aleš Jenis), Jozef Benci (Peter Kellner), Katarína Juhásová-Štúrová (Eva Hornyáková), Jana Bernáthová (Andrea Vizvári) and other soloists from the SND. The stage set and costumes were designed by Johannes Leiacker, a German who has an international reputation who collaborates with Konwitschny often.