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Music, opera, Puccini, La bohѐme, verismo


Verismo is an Italian term that came to be used in reference to literature, theatre, and opera during the end of the nineteenth century. According to William Berger, “verismo is often translated as ‘realism’ but the word is closer to ‘truth’ in Italian.” The term was applied to literature beginning in the 1870s, and began to be applied to opera during the 1890s. However, it has never been particularly well understood. Evaluating it today is especially difficult because the modern perceptions of the term are not quite the same as the original meaning. La bohѐme was composed by Giacomo Puccini in 1895 and was based on the novel Scѐnes de la vie de bohѐme by Henri Murger. Since it was written in the verismo period and was based on literature, La bohѐme has been categorized as a verismo opera by many. To others, on the other hand, La bohѐme does not fit the definition of verismo either in part or in whole. This paper will examine the original use of the term verismo, Puccini’s original intentions, and La bohѐme itself. For research, this paper draws on the score of La bohѐme, biographies of Puccini, letters by Puccini, scholarly analyses, critical articles, and research on Italian operatic history. La bohѐme exhibits the characteristics of verismo opera based on these considerations.





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Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.


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