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BOHEMIAN A person with artistic or literary interests who disregards conventional standards of behaviour These said bohemians have featured as the central characters for two widely recognised and influential musical performances Giacomo Puccinis 1896 classical opera La Boheme and exactly 100 years later in Jonathon Landers rock musical RENT The times and settings of these two compositions could not be any more dissimilar yet it is amazing how strongly some of the same themes and undercurrents are carried through them both themes such as poverty art disease and those that transcend time and location about all Love and Death La Boheme is set in the bohemian community in the Latin Quarter of Paris around 1830 The lead characters whom we are introduced to are a group of struggling young friends Mimi a needleworker and part-time courtesan Rodolfo a Poet Musetta a courtesan and good-time-girl Marcello a painter Schaunard a musician Colline a philosopher and Alcindoro a wealthy state councillor The majority of these friends are afflicted with the fatal disease tuberculosis It is Christmas Eve and the men are all at Marcello and Rodolfos place when they are hassled by the landlord Benoit who is after the rent They get him drunk and eventually throw him out in mock indignation over his talk of women All but Rodolfo decide to go down to Caf Momus but he stays as he has to finish an article he is writing Suddenly there is a knock at the door it is his neighbour Mimi who needs a light for her candle There is instant mutual interest and Rodolfo seizes the opportunity of Mimi mislaying her key to introduce himself with a song She then responds the same way The two have fallen in love and she accepts his proposal to join him and his friends at the Caf for which they set out in a romantic daze RENT is set in the trendy East Village of New
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