By Danielle Vinson
The New Citizens Press
EAST LANSING, MI — La Boheme, composed by Italian born Giacomo Puccini and based upon the libretto based on the French novel Scenes from Bohemian Life by Henri Munger, will be gracing the Wharton Center stage. This tragic tale follows the lives of four young men living the bohemian (unconventional and carefree) life together huddled in an attic in 1830’s Paris. The musician (Schaunard) , the philosopher (Colline), the painter (Marcello), and the poet (Rodolfo) have decided to live for their art, and let their art support life.
Set in enchanting Paris, France Pucinni gives us a glimpse of life in the Latin Quarter. This opera charts the relationships between Rodolfo and their frail neighbor, Mimi, as well as, between Marcello and a young woman named Musetta. This opera also concerns itself with the lives of Rodolfo’s friends. An unfortunate turn of events sends shock waves through the group in the fourth and final act that changes the lives of the group forever. Though La Boheme ends tragically, it is filled with many humorous and sentimental moments that leave audiences breathless.
Contained in this masterpiece are a number of Pucinni’s best-loved melodies. Among them are Rodolfo’s aria “Che gelida manina” (“Your tiny hand is frozen”) and the love duet between Rodolfo and Mimi, “O soave fanciulla” (O’ gentle child”), which ends Act I. Another familiar melody is the aria known as “Musetta’s Waltz”, from Act II.
This opera, performed and written in Italian, was first performed in Turin, Italy at the Teatro Regio on February 1, 1896. It made its debut in the United States on October 14, 1897. It is the most performed opera at the San Francisco Opera house, and the 2nd most performed opera at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City.
This bittersweet tragedy will be performed on Thursday, November 17, 2005 at 7:30 pm. Ticket prices are $78.00, $67.00, $45.00 and $25.00. For more information, call 1.800.WHARTON or 517.432.2000.