Was Mimi a Trollop?
When I was at opera school my drama teacher said Mimi was a trollop, who knew that 4 young men shared an apartment in the same house as her and is determined to ensnare one of them. He maintained that she waited for one of them to be alone and then pretended her candle has gone out.
But unlike many Puccini heroines, Mimi is not a man's victim. She's a determined young woman who gets what she wants - love and passion. She didn't sit alone in her attic waiting for love to come to her - she went out and found it.
In Vissi d'arte the students at the opera school have to act of scenes from opera. Here is the scene where Natasha and Richard work on their scene from La Boheme.
In the final moments of the scene Richard walked
up to Natasha. “You look lovely in the moonlight.” He came closer, but instead
of just gazing at her as they had planned, he kissed her on the lips. To his
joy, she responded enthusiastically, and put her arms round his neck.
Reluctantly, he pulled away, trying to control his excitement. Natasha buried
her head in his shoulder, and he felt her heart pounding. She parted her lips
and he kissed her again. “This isn’t in the script,” he said breathlessly.
“It should be, shall we put it
“Yes. But we can’t kiss too
Natasha grinned. “Can we
practise the kiss again?”
“If we do, we won’t have time
to practise anything else.”
She wound her arms round his
neck. “We must get this kiss right.”
He kissed her again and when he
tried to pull away she resisted.
“So it’s true,” he whispered,
when she let him go. “I thought it was a fable.”
“That redheads are very
“This is the first time I’ve
ever looked forward to Monday,” he said, stroking her hair.
“Because I was seeing you.” He
took her hands and kissed them. “Come on, Mimì, let’s go back to the