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Character of Mimi in La Boheme

In PucciniÆs La Boheme, Mimi provides an aria in Act I immediately following RodolfoÆs aria in which he professes his hopes and dreams to her. In this aria, Mi chiamano Mimi, Mimi describes herself and her ôpoorö but ôhappyö life to Rodolfo, (John, 1982, p. 65). We see that the aria is highly emotion in nature because Mimi is explaining her lonely existence to her neighbor, Rodolfo, whom she loves. Coming in Act I, right after they meet, this aria is significant to the plot of the opera and its actions in a number of ways. First, the aria reveals that Mimi lives and eats alone. She repeats this three times to show just how much she feels alone in her life. Second, the aria reinforces one of the most significant recurring images in the opera, the seasons. For Mimi suggests that once the winter frost thaws, she looks toward the sky for ôthere first sunlight greets meà / SpringÆs first awakening kiss is mine!ö (John, 1982, p. 66). This is important because it reveals Mimi as a romantic and connected to nature. It is also ironic because by the time the thaw comes it will not bring ôfancies and visions brightö to Mimi, but will instead be the time of her death, (John, 1982, p. 66). Thus, we see that her internal hopes and dreams of love and kisses will not be fulfilled in reality.

The lyric poem of MimiÆs aria conveys all of the nature and romance of springtime. Its words reveal her as a true romantic in character and also helps to convey the depths of her inner feelings and emotions. As Wallis (2004, P. 47) suggests, ôMimi has brought the imagery of Spring with her and it is clear that when she describes the opening of the rose in her aria, she is herself the rose, opening for Rodolfo, and for us.ö This stands in contrast to the cold environment of the garret. It also suggests that Mimi can warm the cold environment, despite her and RodolfoÆs candles being extinguished. For despite the extinguishing


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Character of Mimi in La Boheme. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 20:01, August 03, 2020, from