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Acts III and IV of Puccini's Opera 'La Bohème '


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Act III: The Toll Gate
22.30 During the Interval
22.45 Act IV : In the Attic
RUDOLPH, the poet of the four irresponsible Bohemians, has already quarrelled with Mimi, with whom he fell so deeply in love earlier in the opera. Marcel, the painter, has, too, fallen out with the temperamental Musetta. The scene of Act IIIincidentally, the most musically beautiful and effective act Puccini ever composed-is outside an inn near the Customs Gate. It is winter, and everyone is cold, irritable, and unhappy. Stragglers come and go. through the gate. Mimi comes in; she is ill, and asks at the inn for Marcel, to whom she tells her love troubles. When Marcel goes to fetch Rudolph, Mimi hides behind a tree. But Rudolph discoveis her, and to passionate music they are reconciled. Not so Marcel and Musetta, who continue to bicker fluently and spitefully. The famous quartet, which is really two contrasted duets sung together, is a delicious piece of music. The scene of Act IV is the garret where the four men live and work. As usual, they make light of their poverty and distress, and romp like schoolboys. Presently Musetta comes in, bringing Mimi with her, for the recent reconciliation . has not lasted very long. Mimi is dying. She is treated tenderly by the men, and all but Rudolph go in search of food and medicine for the sick girl. Left alone, Rudolph and Mimi renew their undying love for one another, but it is too late. No sooner have the others returned than Mimi sinks and is gone before even Rudolph can realise it. The curtain falls on his despairing cry of grief.
Cast in ordcr of appearance :
Relayed from The Royal Opera House,
Covent Garden


Chorus Master: Robert Ainsworth
Musetta: Ruth Naylor
Mimi EIDE: Eide Norena
Marcello, a painter: John Brownlee
Rodolfo, a poet: Dino Borgiolli
Schaunard, a musician: Aristide Baracchl
Colline, a philosopher: Ezio Pinza

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Feedback about Acts III and IV of Puccini's Opera 'La Bohème ', National Programme Daventry, 22.00, 15 June 1934
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