10/04/2011

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What community building non-profit is closest to your heart? Longwood Opera of course LA BOHÈME SYNOPSIS:<br /><br />Opera in four acts, text by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica after Henri Muger's novel Scènes de la Vie de Bohème (1848). The World Premiere was in 1896 and conducted by Toscanini. LA BOHÈME makes its effect atmospherically in scenes, like a series of impressionistic paintings, and not by the usual development of dramatic action. In fact there is really no dramatic development of any of the characters and huge chunks of the action occur off stage. However, it continues to be one of the most popular operas performed globally in spite of the defects held by many to be stereotypical of opera. The exuberant spirit of youth, happiness, pathos and love, as found in Muger's original sketches, is reproduced brilliantly in this masterpiece by Puccini.<br /><br />ACT I<br /><br />In their chilly attic, three of the four bohemians attempt to keep warm. The painter Marcello is prevented from burning a chair by the poet Rodolfo, who instead sacrifices his manuscript to the pot-bellied stove, while the philosopher Colline jokes about the love scenes in flames. Schaunard, a musician, arrives with food and drink. Schaunard attempts to tell the long, involved story about how he earned the money from an Englishman, but no one listens. As the three start to eat, Schaunard stops them: "On Christmas Eve drink at home, but eat out!" As they are about to have a toast, Benoit the landlord appears looking for the overdue rent. Marcello shows him the money, and the four bohemians, after many more drinks, lure Benoit into boasting about his extramarital conquests. They all feign horror and throw him out. All leave for the Cafè Momus except Rodolfo, who stays to finish an article. Mimì, who embroiders flowers, comes in looking for a light for her candle. When she is about to leave, she realizes that she has left her key. Both candles accidentally flicker out, and when Rodolfo finds Mimì's hand in the dark he describes himself to her. Mimì tells him of herself and her longing for warmth and spring. They join in a love duet before leaving to join the other bohemians.<br /><br />ACT II<br /><br />At the Cafè Momus, Marcello is embarrassed by the arrival of his old girlfriend Musetta with a wealthy councilor of state, Alcindoro. Musetta sings a song of her attractions. To get rid of Alcindoro, she pretends that her shoe is pinching her foot. Reunited with Marcello, they all escape, leaving Alcindoro with the bill.<br /><br />INTERMISSION<br /><br />ACT III<br /><br />Mimì appears shivering and ill and confides to Marcello how difficult life with Rodolfo has become. Pretending to leave, Mimì overhears Rodolfo's complaints about her. Mimì and Rodolfo decide to separate, but not until spring, while Marcello and Musetta have yet another quarrel.<br /><br />ACT IV<br /><br />Rodolfo and Marcello recall happy days with their lovers. Spirits are raised by the arrival of Schaunard and Colline. During their antics Musetta bursts in with Mimì deathly ill. Mimì and Rodolfo sing of their love, while everyone leaves for help. When they return with medicine and money from selling what little belongings each had, Rodolfo suddenly realizes what the others have seen, that Mimì is dead.

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