La Boheme

The Met PR calls it a “passionate, timeless and indelible story of love.”

And so it is.

La Boheme  was not the first opera I saw.  That title goes to Aida at the Lyric Opera of Kansas City while I was in 8th grade.

But Boheme is the first opera that made me cry.  And it still does.

boheme0607-02

I listened to the opera live from the Metropolitan Opera on Saturday afternoon. This fresh and lively performance was exquisite.

The ending got me, as it always does. Ever since 1977, I have been spoilt for C#-minor chords, as they always signal Mimi’s death.  (Just yesterday, I heard a C#-minor chord in the piano in some theatre piece I had on, and I felt the chill of death at that moment.)

My first Boheme was March1977 with Pavarotti in the role of Rodolfo, on the first-ever Live from the Met broadcast.  I wanted to watch the live telecast, and my parents relegated me to their bedroom, to watch the production on the little 13-inch black-and-white television.

Several hours later, I emerged crying in the way that only a closeted 16-year-old classical music lover can.  Mimi had died.  Rodolfo had cried out those incredible high g-sharps, and my world had changed forever.

And the opera still gets me . . . every time.

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