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Baum, Van MH-248-HP1 Mirchandani La Bohème and RENT Introduction The stage of musical theater and opera

are so vastly different, many people have a huge love for one or the other usually not both. But that’s beside the point, how does the world receive something that plays into both sides of the spectrum. When a story is adapted for both the opera stage and for the musical theater stage, what is the reception? Yes both productions are vastly different and the styles follow suit, but the characters, most of the plot, and some elements in the music are the same. RENT is a rock musical written by the late musical theater composer Jonathan Larson the blatantly takes most of the elements from Giacomo Puccini’s La Bohème. While Larson musical is drastically different in the element of music the plot and the characters are directly taken from the libretto that Puccini used. Even though the music is different there are elements of Puccini’s music in Larson’s music. Yes both of these shows have been performed many times, but how are viewed currently? How does the Broadway community view RENT? How does the opera community view La Bohème? These two shows are more alike then different and the both present and convey the same theme in almost the same way which is evident by the reception they receive in their respective communities. RENT

The musical seemed to be geared towards this generation and is well received by them. La Bohème . Many would argue against Gardner’s claim their first piece of evidence being the Tony award and the second piece of evidence being the shows successful 12 year run and recent revival. The view being that the show is too gaudy and tries to hard. Gardner represents a lot of the older generation of theatergoer’s views. “You can positively hear the Generation Xers in the audience as they ‘relate’” (Gardner). Gardner argues that the show is just a cheap ploy and doesn’t live up to the hype that is presented for it. you now have girl meets girl and boy meets drag queen. They view it as a tacky and distasteful spin on Puccini’s perfection of a show. been translated and performed in over ten other countries and has been filmed live on Broadway and adapted into a major motion picture. RENT is still transforming lives and continues to push the envelope as well as be viewed in many different ways by theatergoers. The Broadway community continues to have mixed views on productions. The Audience is almost explicitly invited to say. “Pretty much the same old showbiz fare. Instead of boy meets girl. RENT did win the Pulitzer Prize and won many awards including the Tony for Best musical. Say!’” (Gardner). Since the shows opening RENT has developed an enormous fan base. It is safe to say that most of the Generation X musical theater lovers have not heard of and did not know that RENT was based off an opera. accrued $280 million. which is to be expected. Many people in the opera community do not like the show at all. ‘Look at that! Lesbians.RENT was met with many opposing views. though with almost formulaic inversions.

To truly pay homage to Puccini Larson even used some of the elements from the La Bohème score to influence his own. It portrays love and loss in such a way the intent behind Puccini’s work is very clear. Puccini’s writing is transcendental and is still studied today by scholars and considered a beautiful piece of writing. Bohème was written about 100 years before RENT so the styles are very different but the story and message it conveys is the same. The characters and the story have both been modified slightly to give the story and updated and to give the story a fresh new outlook. La Bohème and RENT Puccini probably never imagined his work would be turned into a rock musical but Larson had other ideas. When writing RENT Larson went back to Puccini’s work. Bohème. No longer set in Paris the story has been transformed from its classical view to a grungy setting in New York City. using a constantly rising and falling melody . RENT is supposed to be an homage to Puccini instead of a bashing of his work. This time sticking to tradition. to love is a gift that should not taken advantage of. The story is executed beautifully by Puccini’s lush writing and the text is set with such knowledge of the music that they work in tandem as opposed to seeming disconnected. which is its intent.La Bohème is notably one of Puccini’s more famous works and most performed works. For example. is a story of love and loss with a not so happy ending. While our protagonist Rodolfo does eventually get his Mimi back she unfortunately dies leaving the opera a dramatic one. Since La Bohème premier in 1896 it has been performed too many times to count! It has been performed in concert and on all of the famous opera stages like the MET and La Scala.

to Puccini’s. Also explicitly in RENT mentioned is Musetta’s aria Quando me'n vo. “The rise in pitch opposed Puccini’s lament and anticipates Mimi’s return” (Nisbet).and stepwise melody to symbolize a love theme. In RENT our hero Rodger plays portions of Musetta’s Waltz and it is also the center of his song Your Eyes. therefore I called it one of my favorite musicals. In the opening of La Bohème Puccini uses a lament to predict Mimi’s death while Larson does the exact opposite in the beginning of RENT. I chose to view them both separately as great pieces of art that can help transform and move people when used and communicated in the correct way. We find that this event in RENT is one of the biggest contrasts. and sometimes the things that are produced in the future just make the original even more special. . also known as Musetta’s Waltz. If I were to give any recommendation it would be to see and learn about both of these shows. In Larson’s adaptation however Mimi has a near death experience but does not die. Conclusion Coming into this topic I was a completely biased listener. in terms of plot. Being one of the Generation Xers you may want to say that I fell into the trap of RENT and I could find myself relating to it. You can’t know where you’re going until you know where you’ve come from. I am now leaving with a greater understanding for RENT and have developed a love and appreciation for the masterpiece that is La Bohème. That was one of the main reasons I picked this topic I didn’t know much of La Bohème which was very naïve on my part.

) (2005): 48-56. Michael." National Review 48. Web. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.W.W. 27 Apr. Mirella Freni. Wilson). Puccini. Wilson)." Advocate (Los Angeles. Wilson). "Transposition In Jonathan Larson's Rent. 1993. Calif. Luciano Pavarotti 1994. 2013. The Berliner Philharmoniker. Perf. James.(1996): 56-57. CD Puccini’s La Bohème Dir. 27 Apr. 27 Apr. Ian.Bibliography Gardner. The Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra. La Bohème. Baz Luhrmann Perf." Studies In Musical Theatre 5.W. Nisbet.3 (2011): 225-244. "Rent Gets Real. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H. MMII Image Entertainment. "Rent. DVD . Web. Web. 2013 Glitz. 2013. OmniFile Full Text Mega (H.