La Bohème

It was on December 10th 1895 that Giacomo Puccini laid down his pen after finishing La Bohème. He was so moved by the death of Mimì that he wept. He later wrote, "alone in the silence of the night, I began to weep like a child. It was as though I had seen my own child die". La Boheme is a story of two youths, Rudolph and Marcel, who are poetic a...

It was on December 10th 1895 that Giacomo Puccini laid down his pen after finishing La Bohème. He was so moved by the death of Mimì that he wept. He later wrote, "alone in the silence of the night, I began to weep like a child. It was as though I had seen my own child die". La Boheme is a story of two youths, Rudolph and Marcel, who are poetic and artistic and spend Christmas Eve without food nor heat, but are merry despite their impoverished state.  Rudolph meets beautiful yet sickly Mimi at his door while Marcel goes out to celebrate with friends, and the two immediately fall in love.  Marcel, while about town that night, meets the coquettish Musette and they also declare their undying love.

The two couples live together for a few months and both relationships begin to decay in jealousy, greed and treachery.  Both women leave and Rudolph and Marcel are unable to return to their carefree friendship because of their misery.  Some time later, Mimi is able to convince Musette to return to Marcel and she to Rudolph.  Once reunited, they lovers sing out in joy and happiness until it is discovered that Mimi is again ill with consumption and would not survive the song.  The song that begins in joy, ends in tragedy.

A late Puccini masterpiece, the opera’s underlying themes of power, politics, love and jealousy remain highly relevant today.

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