Friday, January 22, 2010

La Bohėme


~~~~~~~~~~~click on photo to enbiggen~~~~~~~~~~~

One of my favourite operas is “La Bohėme”.

I may have seen it five times, I may have seen it ten. I lost track.

Each production has captivated me.

On many levels.

The story: Love found. Love lost. Love extinguished. Love grieved.

Paris. 1896. A garret. Rooftops. Chimneys. Students. Mimi.

This past spring, 2009, I took a picture of Paris garrets from my room.

And I imagine the Italian composer, Puccini, composing the beautiful music based loosely upon a few stories about French students and a gypsy, living only in the Bohemian Paris of his imagination.

And I hear, like the echo of a dream, my father singing the famous Rudolfo aria from it while in the perfect acoustics of our small bathroom in Ireland: Che Gelida Manina: “Your tiny hand is frozen”.

Now and again, as the picture above flashes up on the slideshow in my sidebar, I think of all of this.

And it all makes a strange and lovely sense.

14 comments:

  1. It is my husbands favorite opera as well... :)

    We have seen it in London and in New York. Both productions were amazing!

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  2. Oh Nevin;
    That warms my heart!
    Anyone who loves La Boheme is a kindred spirit.
    I never fail to cry when I'm at it.
    Not as much as at Madama Butterfly but close....
    XO
    WWW

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  3. Ha, “La Bohėme”.
    [Not that I want anyone to think I were a kindred spirit :)]

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  4. Though I have never seen the opera my favourite song from it is Musetta's Waltz.

    Coincidently my niece spent three weeks living in a pensione, I think its called,on the Left Bank last Spring.

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  5. Oh Sean:
    I wouldn't think that for a minute. Not you!
    XO
    WWW

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  6. GFB:
    The photo is from the Left Bank, a very small hotel with tiny balconies.
    XO
    WWW

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  7. I love Puccini. Doc Severinson has a trumpet medley of Puccini that I used to hear all the time on the local NPR station in Rochester, NY (in a former lifetime or I should say chapter of my life)

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  8. I'm not an opera lover, but who can fail to be interested in those timeless themes? Who can escape the entanglements of love?

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  9. Gorgeous moody photograph, WWW!

    I've never seen La Boheme. I do love all the famous arias, from well known operas. The only opera I've seen from beginning to end isIl Trovatore" by Verdi. Our 6th form at school presented it, I was entranced. Got into trouble for skipping classes to watch rehearsals! Aeons ago. :-)

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  10. Karin:
    Doc was an extremely underrated musician and had a hidden classical talent.
    Rochester? I've actually been there, in another lifetime too :^)
    Xo
    WWW

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  11. Nick:
    And the beautiful music ignites the soul observing the emotional drama.
    Oh the entanglement!!
    Xo
    WWW

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  12. T:
    Yes, I tried to capture the dying of the light which added more drama to the rather smart looking garrets below me. Not at all what Puccini envisioned!
    I love nost of Verdi'w work too. I must say that was a very ambitious undertaking by your 6th form!!
    XO
    WWW

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  13. I love La Boheme. It is the first opera I saw. My second daughter took me to a college production when she was a student. It is full of lovely melodies. I wonder why music of the 19th century makes sense to me and what people seem to want to listen to today just sounds like noise.

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  14. 20CW:
    Well some of today's music sounds like noise and then I listen to Leonard Cohen's "Alleluia" covered by so many great voices and it never fails to kick me in the gut.
    XO
    WWW

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