For anyone who wonders if it’s possible to reduce an entire opera to the use of two instruments, the answer is yes. But to do this, your names have to be Mathieu van Bellen and Mathias Halvorsen. They understand the art of abstraction like no one else. For this brand-new project, they perform Puccini’s famous La Bohème in an arrangement they created themselves. In doing so, they reduced the music performed originally by the soloists, the choir and the orchestra to a work for violin and piano. This is then backed by projected texts, subtitles, descriptions and passages from Henri Murgers novel, Scènes de la Vie de Bohème, on which the opera about the life of poor young Parisian artists was based.
La Bohème is one of Puccini’s most beautiful operas and is characterised by its magnificent melodies and by joy contrasted with tragedy. The idea behind Halvorsen and Van Bellen’s project was to present this masterpiece in a new, transparent and intimate way. In this version, the lyrics, music and story coalesce into pure poetry. In this sense, La Bohème is approached more as a narrative than a visual spectacle. Here, it is the power of the imagination that provides the key to enter Puccini’s magical world.
Artists and performers
Giacomo Puccini - La Bohème*
*Bewerking voor viool en piano door Halvorsen / Van Bellen