Fri, 15. Dec 2023, 11:00
Depending on the demand for their work, the penniless poet Rodolfo and his three witty artist friends live either in destitution or in the lap of luxury, squandering their money. When their neighbour Mimì appears in their garret one day, Rodolfo falls in love with the fragile young woman at first sight. But in the face of Mimì’s illness, the struggling artists are caught up in harsh reality.
In a loose sequence of scenes, Puccini and his librettists not only tell a love story with a tragic ending, but also portray the subculture of bohemians in 19th-century Paris: their desire for freedom, both socially and artistically, their self-image as bogeymen of the bourgeoisie, and their everyday life that vacillates between excess and survival – a lifestyle that Puccini himself cultivated during his studies. In this opera, he created a new form of veristic melodrama with detailed musical descriptions of moods. His haunting and expressive score depicts the world of the bohemians and their surroundings as realistically and meticulously as it does the inner lives of the characters they were based on. In poetic images, Lindy Hume presents the work as a nostalgic retrospective of a carefree, all-too transient youth.
approx. 2:25 hrs including one interval