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Puccini's Mimi this week on The Lyric Stage

A sampling of some of the many fine sopranos who have sung Mimi.

They call her Mimi, she doesn't know why, but her real name is Lucia. 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 the first kiss of April is hers. Add the music of Puccini and she is one of the most beloved heroines in all of the operatic repertoire. Mimi in La Boheme is a touchstone for any soprano with the right voice, and this week on the Lyric Stage we have several Mimis, from, Puccini's very first Mimi, Cesera Fiorini on to today's Angela Gheorghiu. Of course there are enough excellent Mimi's to do dozens of programs with no repeats of any singers, but time does not allow. You will hear various interpretations - some more passionate than others, some more with an ingénue quality, some more mature sounding - but all as committed and as heartfelt as it can get.

Mike Harrah is host of The Lyric Stage, which airs Sundays at 8 pm.