I Want to be Musetta!


I was listening to my CD in the car “Puccini Without Words”.  I love his music, it is so beautiful it hurts.  As I was riding along in the sunshine, I suddenly realized how much fun Musetta always had, whereas Mimi had a periods of strom and drang. Ever since my parents gave me a 2 record set (yes, it was that long ago) of Puccini’s “La Boheme” ( The Bohemians).  I played that record set until it had deep grooves worn into it.

The story is set in Paris in the period around 1830.    There is a poet, musician and artist living in a garret, all with no money.  They decide to go out and Rudolfo stays behind to finish his work. It essentially focuses on the love between the flower maker called Mimì and the poet Rodolfo. They almost immediately fall in love with each other, and he takes Mimi down to meet his friends.  Musetta, formerly Marcello’s sweetheart, arrives with her rich (and aging) government minister admirer, Alcindoro, to whom she speaks as she might to a lapdog. It is clear she has tired of him. To the delight of the Parisians and the embarrassment of her patron, she sings a risqué song (Musetta’s waltz: Quando me’n vo’ – “When I go along”), hoping to reclaim Marcello’s attention. Soon Marcello is burning with jealousy. To be rid of Alcindoro for a bit, Musetta pretends to be suffering from a tight shoe and sends him with it to the shoemaker to be fixed. During the melee that follows, Musetta and Marcello fall into each other’s arms and reconcile.

Rodolfo later wants to leave Mimì because of her flirtatious behavior – the shy flower maker certainly had blossomed.  However, Mimì also happens to be mortally ill, and Rodolfo also feels guilt, since their life together likely had worsened her health even further. They reunite for a brief moment at the end before Mimì dies.

I always wanted to be Mimi and fall in love at first meeting  It does become a little heavy and unfortunately she dies – not quite an ending I want.  I knew all the words to the arias, except for Musetta’s Waltz, not really sure why because it is quite lovely.  She has a small part but each time I hear her music, it is lighthearted and gay – she has such fun and she is the one who decides where she goes, what she does and who she sees.  After all, when she came across Marcello again, she knew she had the power to attract  him again, no matter how much he denied he was interested.  She had no compunction about dumping Alcindoro and later  fought with Marcello when he started being controlling again – all the reasons they split the last time.  She is a bit of a bad girl  in a fun way.

I have been feeling my bad girl trying to get out – I have never acknowledged her before – I was raised too much of a good girl to even think there could be a bad girl who wanted to come out and play.  I realize a lot of my life has been looking for approval and permission to do something, make sure I am “right” because I didn’t trust my own instincts.  I gave my power away since I can remember – I didn’t know I had power or that I could use it because I didn’t think I was worthy, that I had a right to my power.  There is Musetta, doing what she wants and what works for her, not caring about other people’s opinion.  I wonder why I never really paid that much attention to her all this time while I have been enjoying the music.

I’ll be honest, I don’t know where to take this post – it may just be a short post and let it go at that.  Usually I start with something and the next thing I know, it is 800 or 900 words later and I have a blog post.  Well, there is no ironclad rule that my posts have to be a certain length, they just begin and end when I am finished.  It is interesting because I feel as if I have spent my life living by other people’s rules; to suddenly think in terms of my own rules or no rules at all is a fairly foreign concept to me.  Those rules were safety and deciding whether it is no rules or my own is new territory.  However, I am more and more ready to navigate that territory and see what I find.

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