Now that you know who I am, says Rodolfo to this beautiful stranger he has just met, please tell me who you are. She answers that they call her Mimi, although her real name is Lucia. Her story is brief - she lives all alone in a little white room looking out on roofs and into the heavens, and doesn't always go to church. She makes magic on canvass by embroidering flowers that speak of love and springtimes. And when spring comes, the first sun is hers, the first kiss of April is hers.
Add the music of Puccini and she becomes one of the most beloved heroines in all of the operatic repertoire. Mimi in Giacomo Puccini's La Boheme is a touchstone for any soprano with the right voice, and this week on the Lyric Stage we have several Mimi's, including Cesera Fiorini - Puccini's first Mimi, and also his first Manon Lescaut - Licia Albanese, Victoria de los Angeles, Renata Tebaldi, Maria Callas and Angela Gheorghiu. Too few, but it would take many hours to present all of the worthy Mimi's.