RODOLFO, a poet: Tenor
SCHAUNARD, a musician: Baritone
BENOIT, a landlord: Bass
MARCELLO, a painter: Baritone
COLLINE, a philosopher: Bass
ALCINDORO, a councillor of state: Bass
CUSTOM HOUSE SERGEANT: Bass
Townspeople, Soldiers, Servants, Children, Boys and Girls, Working Girls, Gendarmes, etc.
Four penniless artists share a draughty attic in early nineteenth-century Paris. The poet Rodolfo meets and falls in love with his neighbour Mimì, while the painter Marcello is reunited with his gregarious but kind-hearted ex-girlfriend Musetta. However the path of true love fails to run smoothly: Marcello’s jealousy and Rodolfo’s obsessive concern cause the relationships to end. Many months later, Musetta bursts unexpectedly into the attic with the news that Mimì, dying of consumption, is downstairs but too weak to come up. They carry her up the stairs and try to save her, but it is too late.