Opera Book Club: Scènes de la vie de bohème
In Opera Book Club, use on-stage works as a jumping off point to read, discover, and gain added context to enhance your experience in the theater. Opera Book Club meetings take place at Union Public House. Appetizers will be provided, and additional food and drink will be available for purchase.
This meeting of Opera Book Club, we’ll be taking a look at Scènes de la vie de bohème by Henri Murger.
Opera Book Club events are free with registration. Due to limited capacity, please register for each individual meeting you wish to attend. You can register for this event by clicking the ticketing link below.
Set in the Latin Quarter of 1840s Paris, Scènes de la vie de bohème creates a stark and colorful record of the boisterous, lean, and sensual world of eternal bohemia. The author, like his character Rudolph, was a dispossessed poet living from hand to mouth while serving his literary apprenticeship in the hustle-and-bustle streets of the artists' quarter. In order to make a little money, Murger created fictional episodes based on his experiences in the heart of Bohemia and sole the first of them in 1847 for 10 to 15 francs each to a small literary magazine entitled Le Corsaire.
From this humble beginning, Scènes de la vie de bohème has become an undying tribute to true Bohemians or, as Murger describes them, 'those called by art.' The episodes first published in Le Corsaire were gathered into a book that sold 70,000 copies. In 1849 Theodore Barriere made the story into a play, which became a popular sensation in Paris, and inspired Giacomo Puccini to write the famous opera of the same name.