Written By Tim Gao
Thursday night at Krannert Art center, it was crowded. People are waiting for admission to the opera, La Bohème. La Bohème features young love, fragileness of life, and friendship. The usage of color and background music are all creative and attractive.
Many underlying characteristics hide in the usage of color. In the opera, the two main female characters, Mimì and Musetta, wear costumes of different colors. When Mimì made her first appearance in Act I, she wore a dress in the color of blue. Blue is the color of the sky and the sea, which is broad, stable, and clean. Blue is also color that represents peace and nature. Therefore, the blue dress implies that Mimì is peaceful wise, and loyal. Those characteristics correspond to the plot, in which Mimì is loyal to her lover, Rodolfo, and a gentle female figure. The blue builds such a vulnerable character, resonating with the fact that Mimì is ill.
In contrast, Musetta wears a dress that has a lot of redness. Red is the color of fire and blood, thus it relates to energy and power. It also corresponds to the plot. For example, when Musetta made her first appearance, she is noisy and apparently wanted to attract people’s attention, showing that she is emotionally intense and passionate. There was also a scene that Musetta quarreled with Marcello, indicating that she has strength.
The background music provided by the string orchestra band is fantastic. The music had up and downs, strong and weak parts, which are all following the development of the plot. They also provide a sense of humor. For example, when one of the guys tore Rodolfo’s poet for fire, the string orchestra provide the sound effect for the tearing of the paper. Many people laughed.
All those color and music contribute to the main themes: young love and friendship. The love between Rodolfo and Mimì is touching since their love survives the poverty and the cold winter. Even though Mimì was dead at the end, I believe that their love will last forever. The friendship is also lovely. In Act I, the four friends had so much fun in their small apartment: they tore poems for fire, they fought for the only blanket, and they made the landlord drunk.
In conclusion, La Bohème is a wonderful musical. From the show, I can see how much efforts the actors and the staffs put in. I really appreciate this opportunity to see the show and wish to see more musicals in the future.