This famous opera, loved a lot by opera lovers. However, if you try to summarize the story, then you realize there is no plot to tell, there is a girl who is sick, who falls in love, then dies. Why we love it so much? Is it because opera is more natural than others?
Opera begins and we see Rodolfo and his friends’ regular life. It is an ordinary day, they don’t have much money, they deceive the land lord etc. Later Rodolfo meets Mimi and they fall in love. In the second act, they are outside and they will eat at the restaurant. Décor changed but there is no time difference, we continue from where we left. In this scene there are a lot of different events happening at the same time. Rodolfo’s and Mimi’s pure love, Musetta and Marcello’s complicated love and the usual events; children wants toy, military band passes by etc. For example; sudden appearance of the military band is meaningless, because the life itself is meaningless, you can encounter a lot of thing in a daily life and it doesn’t mean anything for you. In the act 3, Mimi complains Marcello about Rodolfo’s jealousy. Later, we found out that Rodolfo just couldn’t bear to see Mimi’s dying. There are also Musetta and Marcello at the same scene, while one couple softly love each other and tries to separate but couldn’t do it, the other couple fight with each other and insult one another. There are a huge conflict in music that we call ‘’double music’’. While one couple faces serious problems; like Mimi’s illness, the other just fights over flirtation. Is it just the way the life is or are we alone with our own problems? In the last act, we understand Musetta and Mimi left, then suddenly Musetta brings Mimi back very sick. Everybody tries to help her, Rodolfo and Mimi remembers their love and first meeting with a lovely duet consisting of previous melodies that is remembered, and then in the lack of awareness Mimi dies. The characters in the stage notice it by one by, but the music never notices. When, at last, Rodolfo realizes that Mimi is gone, we hear the C sharp minor chord that moves us. The most effective chord of the whole opera waited for Rodolfo’s notice silently. After that, we hear a beautiful, soft but sorrowful melody. Music is written for Rodolfo’s pain, not for Mimi’s death. After all, as audience we only become sad for Rodolfo. Death is painful only for the rest of us.
La Boheme is affected by naturalism. It is a realistic opera. Mimi’s death is not noticeable. It is different than Violetta’s magnificent end, or tense waiting of Carmen’s death. Life doesn’t stop for nobody, even Puccini’s music indicating that by not giving any clue for aria beginnings.