Performing Arts

La boheme

When: Sat., May 21, 8 p.m., Wed., May 25, 8 p.m., Fri., May 27, 8 p.m., Thu., June 2, 8 p.m., Sat., June 4, 1 p.m., Wed., June 8, 8 p.m., Sun., June 12, 7 p.m., Wed., June 15, 1 p.m. and Sat., June 25, 8 p.m. 2016

Starving artists are thick on the ground in Puccini's opera La Bohème, poor in cash but rich in spirit. Rodolfo is a struggling poet whose life is turned upside down when he meets Mimì, a seamstress with a persistent cough. The two fall in love and enjoy endless nights in Paris, but Rodolfo's conscience gets the better of him: Mimì's cough is clearly consumption, and if he leaves her she'll be free to find a rich man to take better care of her. Can either of them really be happy if they're not together? The menace in Mimì's cough strongly implies that neither of them will be happy for long regardless. Opera Theatre of Saint Louis opens its new season with Puccini's big, beautiful heartbreaker at 8 p.m. tonight at Webster University's Loretto-Hilton Center (130 Edgar Road; 314-961-0644 or www.opera-stl.org). Tickets are $25 to $129. La Bohème is performed eight more times in repertory through June 25.

Paul Friswold

Price: $25-$129