A shared flat in Paris’s bohemian world of artists and students: The lives of the poet Rodolfo and his friends are filled with talk of freedom, independence, art, as well as financial hardship. When Rodolfo falls in love with his neighbour Mimì, everything seems to have taken a turn for the better, but poverty and Mimì’s illness overshadow the relationship. The young couple become closely attached. Later they separate, only rediscovering their love when it is already too late. At the time of its premiere in 1896, Puccini’s best-known work broke new ground in Italian opera through its prosaic scenery and everyday subject matter. This staging by Christine Mielitz of Puccini’s fourth opera is one of the most popular productions at the Semperoper.