Matinees at 2:30 pm
Evenings at 8:00 pm
Runs July 7 through August 12
Running time approximately 2 hours with one intermission.
La Bohème Synopsis
Setting: The action occurs in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Act I The poet Rodolfo and the painter Marcello share a garret apartment that, on this Christmas Eve, is even colder than usual. Burning Rodolfo’s play is their only source of warmth. Colline the philosopher joins them, followed by the musician Schaunard bearing food, wine, cigars and firewood. He regales his friends with tales of a brief though lucrative employment. The landlord Benoit arrives in search of rent, yet is sent away empty-handed when the Bohemians pretend to be scandalized by the old man’s social activities. Marcello, Schaunard and Colline depart for the Café Momus. Rodolfo remains behind to finish writing an article. A knock at the door reveals the seamstress Mimi whose candle has blown out. Her ill health and Rodolfo’s quick thinking combine to prolong her visit. The two young people tell each other of their lives. By the time they leave to join the others at Café Momus, they are deeply in love. Act II The streets of the Latin Quarter bustle with Christmas revelers. Rodolfo buys for Mimi a pink bonnet. When they reach the Café Momus, he introduces her to his friends. The toy vendor Parpignol diverts the attention of young celebrants. A later arrival is even more flamboyant: Marcello’s former lover Musetta. Ignoring her wealthy new admirer Alcindoro, she taunts Marcello, but soon decides that the younger man is the better choice. Alcindoro, sent off to buy a pair of shoes, returns to find that Musetta has departed with the Bohemians and both restaurant bills are his to pay. INTERMISSION Act III On a winter morning at a tavern, country women arrive for the market. Mimi, frail and weak, comes in search of Marcello, who is staying at the tavern with Musetta. She seeks advice as to how to deal with Rodolfo’s jealousy. Marcello suggests that they should emulate his own example of a freer love. Mimi hides as Rodolfo emerges from the tavern. She overhears as he relates to Marcello his fears for her health and his deep concern that his poverty will kill her. As Rodolfo realizes that Mimi is listening, Marcello, hearing Musetta’s laughter, reacts with jealous anger. The latter couple quarrels violently as the former couple bids a tender farewell. Act IV Rodolfo and Marcello are back in their garret apartment, lamenting the loss of their lovers. The arrival of Schaunard and Colline offers brief diversion, but the frolic ends as Musetta bursts into the room. Mimi, she says, is below in the street, determined to see Rodolfo again but too weak to climb the stairs. The dying girl is brought into the apartment. Marcello and Musetta go to pawn her earrings so as to hire a doctor. Colline departs to sell his overcoat. Schaunard leaves the lovers alone to reminisce about their first meeting. Gradually, the other Bohemians return with money, medicine, a muff and a promise that the doctor will soon be there. Comforted, Mimi sleeps, then fades into death. Notes and synopsis by Betsy Schwarm with edits and additions by Director Kevin Newbury