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La bohème 1974

July 5 - August 22, 1974

Set in the Latin Quarter of Paris in the 1830s…

…this tragic love story of young Bohemians is one of Puccini’s most beloved and enduring masterpieces.

Music By
Giacomo Puccini
Libretto By
Giacosa and Illica
Based on
Murger's Scenes de la vie Bohème

Synopsis

Act I

A garret. Marcello, an artist, and Rodolfo, a poet, try to keep warm in their Latin Quarter garret on Christmas Eve by feeding the stove pages from Rodolfo’s drama. Before long, they are joined by their roommates, Colline, a philosopher, and Schaunard, a musician, who arrive bringing food and money. In high spirits, all but Rodolfo leave for the Café Momus; he promises to join them later. A young neighbor, Mimi, enters requesting a light for her candle which has gone out. As she is about to leave, she discovers that she has lost her room key and her candle is again blown out by a draft from the door. Rodolfo blows out his own candle and the two search for the key in the now darkened room. He takes Mimi’s hand and tells her of his dreams, and she tells him of her simple life. The others call from the street and Mimi and Rodolfo decide to go to the Café together.

Act II

Café Momus. Amid the cries of street vendors, Rodolfo buys Mimi a bonnet inside the Café Momus. The poet introduces Mimi to his friends and they select a table for their Christmas Eve celebration. Musetta, Marcello’s former sweetheart, makes a spirited entrance on the arm of her rich new admirer, the elderly Alcindoro. At first she teases Marcello, and then, pretending that her shoe pinches, sends Alcindoro to have it repaired. As Alcindoro returns, the others run off leaving him with the bill from the Café.

Act III

At the barriére d’Enfer, a city gate.  Mimi enters in search of the Inn where Marcello and Musetta are now living. Mimi tells Marcello of Rodolfo’s incessant jealousy and says that they must part. Rodolfo comes out and Mimi hides, listening. The poet tells Marcello that he must separate from Mimi because her illness can only grow worse in the poverty in which they are living. Mimi comes out of her hiding place to bid farewell to Rodolfo. They exchange memories of their happiness, and decide to stay together for the winter.

Act IV

A garret.  Separated from their lovers, Rodolfo and Marcello try to work but find it difficult to concentrate. Colline and Schaunard join them and the four stage a mock ball. Suddenly, Musetta rushes in, announcing that Mimi is dying and has asked to return to the garret where she and Rodolfo have been so happy. Rodolfo and Mimi are left alone and recall happier times together. As the others return with food and medicine, Mimi dies.

Artists

Santa Fe Opera

Ellen Shade

Soprano

Mimi

Santa Fe Opera

William Lewis

Tenor

Rodolfo

Santa Fe Opera

Rita Shane

Soprano

Musetta

Santa Fe Opera

Brent Ellis

Baritone

Marcello

Santa Fe Opera

John Mount

Bass-baritone

Colline

Santa Fe Opera

William Parker

Baritone

Schaunard

Santa Fe Opera

Douglas Perry

Tenor

Benoit

Santa Fe Opera

Jack Davison

Baritone

Alcindoro

Santa Fe Opera

Gregory Weist

Tenor

Parpignol

Santa Fe Opera

Paul Milkie

Bass-baritone

Custom-house Sergeant

John Crosby headshot

John Crosby

Conductor

Ragnar Ulfung headshot

Ragnar Ulfung

Tenor

Director

Santa Fe Opera

John Scheffler

Scenic Designer

Santa Fe Opera

Suzanne Mess

Costume Designer

Santa Fe Opera

Georg Schreiber

Lighting Designer

Santa Fe Opera

Robert Jones

Chorus Master