First performed on February 1st at Turin, Italy’s Teatro Regio and at Barcelona’s Gran Teatre del Liceu on April 10, 1898, “La Bohème” has become part of the standard Italian opera repertory and is one of the most frequently performed operas internationally. The opera takes place in the Latin Quarter of Paris where despite near starvation, four young artists laugh, love and play in their freezing garret: Colline the philosopher, Schaunard the musician, Marcello and Rodolfo the writer. To celebrate Christmas Eve all leave for the Café Momus, except Rodolfo who stays behind to finish writing his newspaper article. Alone, Rodolfo tries to write, but can’t concentrate. Mimì, a poor seamstress who lives in the garret above, comes to Rodolfo’s apartment searching for a light for her candle. They fall in love immediately, and go to join Rodolfo’s friends in the café, where he introduces Mimì to them all.
Mimì and Rodolfo begin living together. Knowing that Mimì suffers from consumption, Rodolfo decides that they must live apart so that Mimì can find warmer lodgings and, he hopes, regain her health. Mimì leaves and subsequently takes up living with a wealthy Vicomte. She returns to the garret one evening to be with her friends, but after joining them in the midst of their revelries, Mimì collapses and dies in Roldolfo’s arms.