At a very young age, children learn the beauty of daydreaming. Their fantasies help them understand the world that surrounds them. Imagining dragons flying in the sky, a prince saving his princess and an evil witch occupy their minds until they can continue their fantasies into their dreams.
The Metropolitan Opera allows for adults to rediscover the beauty of daydreaming that may have been lost due to understanding the realities of the world. For one night, men and women dress in their best attire, grab cocktails and wait for a performance that will allow them to escape the world for only a few hours.
“This is something that is on my bucket list that I can now cross off,” Gabrielle Occhiogrosso, Assistant Director of Student Activities, said.
The world that is Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème reveals a passionate tale within the bohemian landscape of Paris in 1830. The chance encounters of two individuals trying to rediscover their purpose, and the love that grows from their meeting showcases a dreamlike world.
La Bohème is divided into four acts with each act being a vignette of an ongoing love story between Rodolfo and Mimi. The first act opens onto the garret that is on the rooftops of Paris on Christmas Eve. The second act portrays the Latin Quarter of Paris with a cast of nearly 100 persons. The third act pans to a snowy landscape at the Barriere d’Enfer, a toll-gate at the edge of Paris. Finally, the fourth act ends back at the garret during the spring.
The sets within the show truly transported the audience back to Paris in 1830. Each “fourth wall” within the sets was torn back to allow the audience to peak into the lives of the main characters: Rodolfo, Marcello, Colline, Benoit, Mimi, Musetta.
“This production is incredible, and is a great way to experience the culture of New York City,” Erica Stella, junior communication major, said.
The love story that begins with needing a candle to be lit, Rodolfo and Mimi proclaim their adoration for each other by the first act. Rodolfo, a poet, continuously asks Mimi, an embroider, and to admit her love for him and she continuously does so.
Surrounded by their love is a set that is so detailed that the audience can feel the small heat coming from the stove, the smoke billowing from the chimney’s of Paris and overlook the city’s landscape at dusk.
The second act opens within the Latin Quarter after Rodolfo’s and Mimi’s declaration for each other’s love. They reunite with Rodolfo’s friends Marcello, Colline and Benoit at Café Monus. The café is amongst a landscaped filled with shops, hundreds of people in detailed garments and even a horse pulled carriage.
As the cast settles at a table in the café, the booming Musetta enters the streetscape on a horse drawn carriage, covered in crimson velvet attire. Marcello, Musetta’s former lover, tries to ignore Musseta’s attempts to capture his attention. At the end of the act he falls for her after her aria and the crew wonders into the street amongst the French soldiers.
After a thirty minute intermission, the curtain is drawn back to the outskirts of Paris covered in snow. With snow falling from the ceiling, huge oak trees scattered across the stage and a log cabin on stage, the audience started to forget that they were still in The MET. Soon enters a sick Mimi looking for Rodolfo who ended their affair due to his jealousy, but in the end of the act are reunited.
Finally, as the fourth act begins the audience is transported back to the garret during the spring. The men engage in a playful sword fight on top of the roofs, while the dying Mimi enters the apartment with Musetta. With the cast singing a heart wrenching end to a fanciful tale, the curtain is closed and the audience abrupted with applause.
“I love this show. I think everyone’s voices are amazing, and I think it’s a very good love story,” Sarah Fette, junior psychology major, said.
After three hours of being within The MET, the audience was able to recapture the art of daydreaming and a chance to rekindle a moment with their childhood innocence