Great Moments In Opera, Puccini’s "Quando m’en vo" From "La Boheme"

The aria “Quando m’en vo” takes place in the second act of Puccini’s opera “La Boheme” and it is sung by Musetta, a well known singer trying to get back the love of the one whom she broke up with. As for the act, it starts with Rodolfo, Mimi, Marcelo and the rest of their group going out to a cafĂ© on Christmas eve. It being there were Rodolfo and Mimi sing about their newly found love with Mimi claiming that love is sweeter than honey which prompts Marcelo to bitterly reply “it depends on weather it is faithful”. Marcelo making it abundantly clear to all that he is grief stricken over the loss of Musetta yet only a few minutes go by before she accompanied by a much older man enters the place where Marcelo finds himself in.

Marcelo for his part tries to ignore Musetta, who does everything within her power to be noticed by him that includes talking loudly and even smashing a plate on the floor which she claims smells of grease. Musetta doing so despite the fact that she is in the society of another man yet in her attempts Marcelo manages not to pay attention though all can see that he is struggling not to show the love he feels for her. As all are aware that his resistance is but wounded pride and not lack of affection.


Musetta however seeing that there is hope that Marcelo will notice her starts her aria “Quando m’en vo”, knowing that all eyes in the place are focused on her. It being in this aria in which she claims that when she walks down the street people can not help but stare and admire her beauty from head to toe. Marcelo however gets slightly irritated as Musetta mentions this along with how she is aware that he is dying of desire for her which his hurt feelings will not let him show yet she knows deep down that he still loves her. Musetta’s elder male companion for the evening, as can be expected is not amused, as he asks her to speak softer; repeating the word “piano, piano” yet Musetta caries on while all are aware that Marcelo will give in to her desires as he always has in the past. This being precisely what Marcelo does as he at the end of the aria joins in by adding that if Musetta should ever knock on his door he will always be there for her.

Musetta’s aria in the second act of “La Boheme” is one which uses very high notes as she shrieks to call attention to herself and even get on the nerves of some in what is her capricious nature yet it in my opinion captures the essence of a woman who longs to not only perk a man’s interest but also fill him with jealousy. This as to inspire desire for the tenderness she posses. It is also during Musetta’s aria that other characters such as Mimi lend a voice of support to her cause that she and Marcelo belong together; for they were meant to be in spite of anything which might have occurred. Another feature of this aria by Musetta is that she goes on with her almost pleas, as if performing for one man in spite of how she is singing to others; who comment on what she has to say.

My name is Gianni Truvianni, I am an author who writes with the simple aim of sharing his ideas, thoughts and so much more of what I am with those who are interested in perhaps reading something new. I also am the author of the book entitled “New York’s Opera Society” which is now available on Amazon.

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