|Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica, based on Scènes de la vie de Bohème by Henri Murger
|Turin, February 1, 1896
Puccini's most expressive opera draws from a collection of true-life sketches describing life among the original bohemians, the poor artists of Paris's Latin Quarter. Hungry but cheerful, the poet Rodolfo shares a garret with the painter Marcello and two others. One moonlit Christmas Eve, the frail seamstress Mimi comes to Rodolfo's door for help, and the two fall passionately in love, while Marcello carries on a turbulent affair with flirtatious Musetta. But Rodolfo is impossibly jealous of Mimi, and the two regretfully part, until Musetta reveals that Mimi is dying of consumption. Rodolfo flies to Mimi's side, and the lovers are united, only to be separated forever by Mimi's death.