La bohème

New Production

This production of La bohème was performed outdoors at Scottish Opera's Production Studio in Glasgow between 5-13 September 2020


What if you fall in love, in a world where you can’t even touch?

Scottish Opera celebrates a longed-for return to live, staged opera with the greatest operatic love story ever told.

Rodolfo endures a precarious existence as a jobbing freelance writer. Mimì gets by as a costume maker for theatre and opera. As soon as he sets eyes on her, he’s smitten – but can love survive in a time of illness?

This elegant abridged version – created by composer Jonathan Dove (Flight 2018) – of Puccini’s heartbreaking love story gets a powerful new outdoor production from Scottish Opera Staff Director Roxana Haines, designed by Glasgow-based Anna Orton. The staging places a small audience right in the middle of the action, which takes place among and around you – with appropriate physical distancing observed at all times.

Coming together for this La bohème for today are Elizabeth Llewellyn as Mimì and Rhian Lois as Musetta (both making their Scottish Opera debuts), Samuel Sakker (Kátya Kabanová 2019) as Rodolfo and Roland Wood (Tosca 2019, Pelléas et Mélisande 2017) as Marcello, with Scottish Opera Emerging Artist 2019/20 Arthur Bruce as Schaunard. Company Music Director Stuart Stratford conducts a specially selected ensemble from The Orchestra of Scottish Opera.

Safety for all audience members, performers and backstage crew has been built into the production’s underlying conception from the start, and safety measures will be observed at all times with no compromise. 

With its grand theatrical and emotional sweep, this very special production of Puccini’s heartbreaking operatic weepie is a celebration of love in all its forms: from passion to affection, friendship to fraternity. And it’s a poignant love letter to theatre, opera and live performance itself – to singers, instrumentalists, backstage and, of course, audiences.

Performed outdoors at Scottish Opera's Production Studio in Glasgow
Running time approx 1 hour 35 mins, with no interval
Sung in English

Cast & Creatives

Elizabeth Llewellyn

Samuel Sakker

Roland Wood

Rhian Lois

David Ireland

Arthur Bruce*
*Robertson Trust Emerging Artist 2020/21

Francis Church

Actor/Dancer/Movement Director
Jessica Rhodes

Stuart Stratford

Roxana Haines

Anna Orton

Andrew Burnside


Assistant Conductor
Derek Clark

Assistant Director
Katie Smith

Amanda Holden


Get behind the scenes of our very special outdoors production of La bohème - featuring exclusive articles and interviews with the creators.


What the press said

'(This) new production of La bohème stands as a beacon of light in the darkness.' ★★★★★ The Guardian

'Operatic magic takes flight in difficult times.' ★★★★★ The Times

...By the end of this bold La boheme, the weather-beaten audience was cheering this production to its temporary rafters.' ★★★★★ The Telegraph

'...A production that lays bare the emotional heart of society in crisis.' ★★★★ Herald Scotland

What to expect

Already booked your tickets, or thinking about coming to one of our outdoor performances of La bohème? We're doing everything we can to keep audiences, performers and staff members safe, and we want you to feel assured that we are taking every measure possible to make sure this is the case. 

Click below to find out more about what to expect while booking and at the performance.

Find out more


Find out more about accessibility at our pop-up outdoor venue.

Access info