La bohème (Leoncavallo)

La BohèMe (Leoncavallo)

La bohème (Leoncavallo)

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La bohème is an Italian opera in four acts, with music and libretto by Ruggero Leoncavallo, based on Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger. The opera received its premiere at the Teatro la Fenice, Venice on May 6, 1897.

Leoncavallo wrote his opera La bohème contemporaneously with Giacomo Puccini's own treatment of the same story. Leoncavallo later revised the work, titling it Mimi Pinson, but it fared no better. Puccini's version has become a standard in the operatic repertoire, whereas Leoncavallo's opera is rarely performed.

Allan Atlas has analysed in detail the different treatments of the death of the Mimi character in both Leoncavallo's and Puccini's versions of La bohème, contrasting the historical success of Puccini's opera and the relative failure of Leoncavallo's.



Place: Paris.
Time: one year from Christmas, 1837 to Christmas, 1838.

Act 1

Café Momus

The innkeeper Gaudenzio tries in vain to eject the Bohemians, who never pay and are continually up to no good. During the conversation another piece of horseplay on their part is discovered. They sit down to dine, while Musetta gaily sings. (Canzonette: "Mimi is the name of my sweet blonde.") Naturally when they are asked to pay the bill, they have no money. A comic fight ensues between them and the innkeeper, who has called his servants to...
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