opera by Giacomo Puccini

About Performance

On 16th May 1920, when La Boheme was performed in Belgrade for the first time, reconstruction of the National Theatre’s building, which was badly damaged by war, was underway. Thus, it happened that the actual inception of the Belgrade Opera’s successful activities happened in the Manjež building; it was a hall intended for horse back riding transformed for theatrical needs. The opera will remain on the repertoire until the beginning of occupation; the posters indicate that the performance was given for the last (109th) time on 15 May 1941. Evgeni Marijashets was the stage director and Stevan K. Hristić conducted. Main female roles were sung by Ada Polakova and Olga Stefanović. The role of Mimi was occasionally interpreted by the famous Lisa Popopva. Mata Milošević wrote about his memories of a performance, “The atmosphere was warm in the former Manjež, one of these moments we will never forget. At a performance of La Boheme, in the last act, suddenly the bed with the dying Mimi on it collapsed. It may seem like a reason to laugh, however the adored Lisa Popova interpreted Mimi. Eartle, Marcello, quickly reacted and placed two chairs. Lying on the chairs, Popova gave, more moving than ever, performance of the dying scene. She didn’t want to come out for the applause, she was angry because she thought her scene was ruined and our applauses turned into demonstrative ovations since we thought that somebody did this on purpose just to insult the artist. We were asked to leave the hall.” The following (second) staging of La Boheme happened during the occupation, on 18th April 1942, under the baton of Hans Herner, directed by Nikola Cvejić who also interpreted Marcello. Other roles were interpreted by Vladeta Popović, Jovan Stefanović, Žarko Cvejić. The roles of Mimi and Musetta were interpreted by Zlata Đunđenac and Nadežda Stajić. The set was designed by Miomir Denić and costumes by Mica Babić. It is interesting that the second staging of La Boheme also premiered in Manjež, since the National Theatre's building was damaged in bombing on 6 April. La Boheme was performed on 16 March 1945 in the National Theatre, just after the liberation of Belgrade. It was a revival of the staging from 1942. The performance was conducted by Davorin Županc, with Aleksandar Marinković, Petar Obradović, Božidar Mitrović, Anica Stojanović and Dara Stojaković in the main roles. The costumes were designed by Milica Babić Jovanović this time as well. Three decades later, on 11 December 1976, La Boheme premiered again in the National Theatre. The production was directed by Borislav Popović, conducted by Borislav Pašćan, the set was designed by Petar Pašić and the costumes by Ljiljana Dragović. The cast of young and talented performers interpreted their Parisian counterparts: Rodolfo – Predrag Protić, Schaunard – Goran Gligorić, Marcello – Zoran Aleksandrić, Colline – Nebojša Maričić. Main female roles were interpreted successfully by Gordana Jevtović (Mimi) and Olga Đokić (Musetta). The production remained on the repertoire for a long time and we can freely say that, as critics said, the taste of our opera goers has been formed on Puccini’s works, especially La Boheme

Premiere performance

Premiere 21 June 2000 / Main Stage

Conductor Bojan Suđić
Stage Director Predrag Protić
Set Designer Boris Maksimović
Costume Designer Ljiljana Dragović
Premiere cast:

Rodolfo Nikola Kitanovski / Dušan Plazinić 
Marcello Zoran Aleksandrić / Goran Gligorić 
Schaunard Vladimir Andrić / Vuk Matić  
Colline Nenad Jakovljević / Boris Petronje  
Mimi Višnja Pavlović Drakulić / Jasmina Trumbetaš Petrović 
Musetta Ana Rupčić / Dragana Radivojević 
Benoit Velizar Maksimović / Miodrag Matić / Branislav Kosanić 
Alcindoro Miodrag Matić / Branislav Kosanić
A Customs Sergeant Aleksandar Stamatović
Parpignol Časlav Bogoinski / Ljubodrag Begović 

Children’s Choir “Horislavci”, under the leadership of Draško Janković and Aleksandra Stanković 
Concertmasters Iskra Uzelac, Vesna Jovanović
Choir rehearsed by Đorđe Pavlović, MA
Music Associates Srđan Jaraković, Nevena Spasović, Nona Perović
Stage Manager Branislava Pljaskić Ristić
Stage music Ana Zorana Brajović, Đorđe Pavlović
Assistant Conductor Ana Zorana Brajović
Assistant Director Ivana Dragutinović
Organizer Maša Milanović 
Prompters Kaćuša Miladinović, Silvija Pec 
Painters Miroslav Nikolić, Miodrag Musterović, Svetislav Živković, Srđan Pušeljić
Sculptor Stanimir Pavlović
Make-Up Nijaz Memiš 
Main Decorator  Dimitrije Radinović
Lighting Master Mića Milivojević
Main Sound Master Miroslav Vuković
Main Prop Master Dejan Janković