AWARD-WINNING librettist John Fardon has put a witty, contemporary spin on the original lyrics one of opera's most popular and unforgettable stories, and is bringing it live to the Royal Pavilion on Southend Pier this summer.

Puccini's La Boheme, performed by Opera24, will be coming to the venue on Friday July 8.

Director Lewis Reynolds has set the drama in a poorly furnished London flat, as four young artists struggle to live and love in challenging circumstances, while John Jansson, who conducts his arrangement for an eight-piece chamber orchestra, allows the unparalleled beauty of Puccini’s score to lift the audience’s spirits.

Opera24 first brought opera to Southend’s world-famous pier in 2014, with a triumphant staging of Così Fan Tutte, and expects La Bohème to delight Essex opera lovers again this summer.

“This production of La Bohème was a huge success at last year’s auspicious Grimeborn Opera Festival, so we’re thrilled to be presenting it at the Royal Pavilion in July.” says co-producer Liz Lincoln, adding “We also want to make it a special event for the audience – so we’ll be serving a buffet during the interval, and, to enhance the magical atmosphere of the marine setting, we’re encouraging the audience to dress up in blazers and fabulous frocks!”

First performed in Turin in 1896, La Bohème very quickly established itself in the hearts of the Italian public, and has gone on to become one of the world’s favourite operas. Arias such as ‘Che gelida manina’ (‘Your tiny hand is frozen’) and ‘Sì, mi chiamano Mimì’ (‘Yes, they call me Mimi’) became globally famous around the world, with, for many, the soaring duet ‘O soave fanciulla’ (‘O lovely maid in the moonlight’) an absolute show-stopper.

With lush sensuous harmonies matched with enrapturing vocal melodies, it is easy to see why Puccini’s work still resonates today – La Bohème influenced both the musical Rent and Baz Luhrmann’s film Moulin Rouge.

Tickets - priced at £37.50, including return fare for the pier train, free glass of Prosecco, and interval buffet – are on sale now at

Email or via 01702 215 620 to book.

For more information, call 01702 339 565 or visit

The performance will start from 7:45pm.