Our story’s tragic heroine.
Sweet, kind and dreamy, Mimi is sensible and handles conflict by finding ways to distract her from her pain. She enjoys solitary pursuits, like needlework, and attracts others to her by asking for help, such as when she asks Rodolfo to light her candle. She has a passionate nature and is not afraid to declare her feelings.
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 Mimi through her most memorable musical moments.
Mimi’s entrance (Act I)
Puccini’s hero and heroine have similar voices, lyric soprano and lyric tenor. Puccini uses these similarities to demonstrate a meeting of minds and hearts.
Si mi chiamano Mimi (Act I)
Mimi’s first aria illustrates her romantic, yet practical, nature and also highlight’s the expressive gifts of a lyric soprano. Listen for the contrast in the parlando (singing in the manner of spoken speech) and legato (lyric) sections of her aria.
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, Senza Rancor (Act III)
Mimi’s resolve strengthens as she bravely tells Rodolfo “Addio, senza rancor”, “Goodbye, without bitterness,” after she learns that she is dying.
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.
Mimi’s Death Scene (Act IV)
Listen for musical quotes from the first act duet and arias as the lovers remember happier times. Note how Mimi’s music gradually fades away as she dies.