Our story’s hero.
Others would describe him as a sensitive soul with a burning passion. He obsesses over the cause of conflict, rather than dealing with it head on. He enjoys creative pursuits, like writing poetry and plays. When he meets someone he is interested in, he offers help and guidance rather than flirting outright, just as when he meets Mimi in the first act. He loves deeply and without reservation, so his passion occasionally gets the best of him, leading to possessiveness and jealousy.
What to Listen for during “La Bohème”:
Puccini was a master of theatre, which helps us to visualize his characters through their music. Learn more about Rodolfo through his memorable musical moments.
Opening Scene (Act I)
The struggling poet Rodolfo’s youthful optimism is matched only by his creativity in dealing with his reduced circumstances.
Che Gelida Manina (Act I)
Rodolfo introduces himself to Mimi with an aria that mhighlights soaring vocal lines and Rodolfo’s passionate nature.
O Soave Fancuilla (Act I)
Listen for how Mimi and Rodolfo’s voices soar together and Puccini’s contrast of parlando and legato vocal lines, ending in a climactic high C. Addio, Dolce Svegliare (Act III) The “break-up” quartet: listen for the contrasts in Mimi and Rodolfo’s soaring lyricism contrasted with Musetta and Marcello’s jagged vocal lines.
Rodolfo tries to pretend he doesn’t mind that Mimiis now with a rich man, but his music tells the truestory of how much he loves and misses her.
Mimi’s Death Scene (Act IV)
Listen for musical quotes from the first act duet and arias as the lovers remember happier times. The opera ends with Rodolfo’s cries of anguish.
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