1. What role does the orchestra play in the opera? Could a piano play the same role? Does the orchestra reflect the dramatic idea of the libretto, or does it serve merely as accompaniment? Does the orchestra play an independent role in developing the dramatic action?
2. The production you’re watching is a modern staging of the opera: the music is the same, but the opera is set in a more contemporary time. How does the staging reflect Puccini’s original intentions? What are some elements of this production that would not have appeared during the time it was set (1890). Does it make the opera more relevant to you, a contemporary listener/viewer?
3. Are there clear distinctions between recitative, aria, and chorus in this opera? Explain your answer.
4. Is the music in La Boheme at all similar to popular music today? Explain your answer.
5. Puccini was not a good student, but became an outstanding composer. What skills did he need to become a successful opera composer?
6. How do you know when one act ends and another one begins? This opera comprises four acts: indicate the timing for the start of acts 2, 3, and 4.