La bohème

13 September - 13 October 2018

A lost key and an accidental touch of cold hands in the dark; so begins one of the great romances of all opera. Puccini’s glorious masterpiece of youth, passionate love and heartbreak springs to life in this exciting new production by Jacqueline Coats.

La bohème features the return of some of the most brilliant young New Zealand singers on the international stage, including UK-based Thomas Atkins, Marlena Devoe and Julien Van Mellaerts, along with Amelia Berry and Australian Nicholas Lester. Tobias Ringborg, who was last in New Zealand for Tosca in 2015, returns to conduct another of Puccini’s great operas.

Whether it’s your first time or your fiftieth, La bohème will remind you what it means to be alive and in love.

An opera in four acts by Giacomo Puccini. Libretto by Luigi Illaca and Guiseppe Giacosa, based on Scènes de la Vie de Bohème by Henri Murger. La bohème premiered on 1 February 1896 at the Teatro Regio in Turin.

Read the programme


“Yet Coats catches the social bustle and bristle of her cast and chorus through vigorous and inventive stage business. This talent was apparent from the opening scene, with Thomas Atkins and his three companions, Nicholas Lester, Julien Van Mellaerts and Timothy Newton, joshing and jostling as if choreographed to do so.” – William Dart, The New Zealand Herald

“But it works because it is superbly cast, brilliantly sung and finely acted. In short, it is intensely believable, allowing the final scene to make its full effect even to those for whom La Boheme is as familiar as an old glove.” – Stuff

“What a pleasure to encounter this winning cast, made up predominantly of young New Zealanders who are beginning to make their mark overseas.” – Bachtrack


Creative team

Conductor Tobias Ringborg
Director Jacqueline Coats
Assistant Director Jesse Wikiriwhi
Set Designer Rachael Walker
Costume Designer Elizabeth Whiting
Lighting Designer Jennifer Lal



Rodolfo Thomas Atkins
Mimì Marlena Devoe
Marcello Nicholas Lester
Musetta Amelia Berry
Schaunard  Julien Van Mellaerts
Colline Timothy Newton
Benoît/Alcindoro Barry Mora
Parpignol Manase Latu



Accompanied by Orchestra Wellington and Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra

A New Zealand Opera production

Supported By