The Metropolitan Opera

In one of our exciting cultural events of the semester, the Honors Program took a trip to the Metropolitan Opera in Lincoln Center on Monday evening, December 1st, to see the highly acclaimed production of “La Boheme,” Giacomo Puccini’s most popular opera. This tale of tragic young love set in the bohemian Paris of the 1840s was a beautiful introduction to opera for some of our students.

Throughout the course of four acts, the opera told the story of Rodolfo and his group of friends, and his ill-fated love for the sickly Mimi, a neighbor who wanders into his apartment one day when her candle blows out — a storyline that served loosely as the inspiration for the popular musical Rent. Mimi, whose tender, delicate nature contrasts with the more bold and flirtatious Musetta, steals Rodolfo’s heart from the moment they meet. But of course, love is never easy, and as the opera unfolds, Rodolfo’s relationship with Mimi and Marcello’s on-and-off relationship with Musetta are put to the test.

Franco Zeffirelli’s set design greatly enhanced the opera, transporting the viewer back two centuries via a realistic replica of Paris’s streets. While the first and fourth acts take place in the apartment that Rodolfo shares with three roommates, the second and third acts are awe-inspiring in their beauty. In the second act, Rodolfo goes out to dinner with his friends and Mimi, and we see the group walking along a Paris street that is lined with shops and teeming with Parisians young and old. In the third act, the audience is transported to the scene of a nineteenth century small tavern, its yellow lights glowing through a snowstorm that blankets the rest of the scene in a flurried white layer.

La Boheme

The Honors Program was fortunate to be able to see this breathtaking and unforgettable production of La Boheme, and was thrilled that Dr. Selma Botman, YU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, came with the group.


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