• Dan Rest
  • Dimitri Pittas, Ana Maria Martinez

OK, you probably know the story: Penniless young artists and writers on the loose in the frigid garrets and intoxicating cafes of 19th-century Paris. Boy meets girl, they fall in love, she dies. The libretto swings between the tragically melodramatic and the merely sappy—an ode to an overcoat is rendered as the heroine approaches death. But the music couldn’t be more heartrending: it’s Giacomo Puccini’s beloved La Bohème, currently up at Lyric Opera.

This is a fetching, traditional production, with sets by Michael Yeargan on loan from the San Francisco Opera. Everything is exactly as it should be, from the love nest that opens dramatically to the sky at exactly the right moment to the bohemians’ favorite cafe on a Latin Quarter street mobbed with munchkins from the Chicago Children’s Choir.