Act I

La Boheme - Act I

La Boheme has been rightly called a true work of genius and its composer's masterpiece. A tender, tragic story of love among the artists and their residents of the Latin Quarter, in Paris of the 1890's. It is a perennial favorite of Opera fans! The first scene is in the city of Paris, in a lonely garret on Christmas Eve in the 1890's. Rudolfo sits writing by candle light. There comes a knock at the door; enter a lovely maiden. Her candle has blown out, might she re-light it? Returning a moment later, she announces that she has lost her key and a draft has blown out her candle again.
In the confusion Rudolfo extinguishes his candle and in the darkness they both search for her key. Rudolfo cleverly waits for the opportunity to touch her hand. "Che gelida manina" he says gently, "your tiny hand is frozen!" While making her comfortable, he tells her he is a poet and how very lovely he finds her and asks her name. Shyly she replies, "My name is Mimi," and explains she makes artificial flowers, but yearns for the real blossoms and fragrances of spring. Rudolfo's friends are heard calling from the street below as they are waiting for him to join them in a Christmas Eve celebration. Now deeply in love, the two join in the passionate duet, "O soave fanciulla." Mimi reminds him his friends are waiting, and he insists she join him as the scene ends.

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