On this chilly, frosty morning, my goats were offered an operatic selection. I enjoy opera and am able to watch the Metropolitan Opera HD deliveries from New York in a town not far from Gullringstorp. I love to listen to several of my favorites while tending the goats and the stable chores. It was a wonderful background as I cleaned boxes, filled both hay and grain. The water buckets were all cleaned and refilled. Lots can be done quickly while the goats are outdoors.
This morning my ladies and gentlemen heard La Bohème , an opera in 4 acts composed by Giacomo Puccini. The world premiere performance was in 1896. Since then it has been performed all over the world in the greatest opera houses by the greatest voices in the opera world. Just to name a few: Placido Domingo & Montserrat Cabellè, Luciano Pavarotti & Mirella Freni, Jussi Björling & Victoria de Los Ángeles, Anna Netrebko & Rolando Villazón.
ACT I. Paris, Christmas Eve, c. 1830. In their Latin Quarter garret, the painter Marcello and poet Rodolfo try to keep warm by burning pages from Rodolfo’s latest drama. They are joined by their comrades — Colline, a young philosopher, and Schaunard, a musician who has landed a job and brings food, fuel and funds. But while they celebrate their unexpected fortune, the landlord, Benoit, arrives to collect the rent. Plying the older man with wine, they urge him to tell of his flirtations, then throw him out in mock indignation. As the friends depart for a celebration at the nearby Café Momus, Rodolfo promises to join them soon, staying behind to finish writing an article. There is another knock: a neighbor, Mimì, says her candle has gone out on the drafty stairs. Offering her wine when she feels faint, Rodolfo relights her candle and helps her to the door. Mimì realizes she has dropped her key, and as the two search for it, both candles are blown out. In the moonlight the poet takes the girl’s shivering hand, telling her his dreams. She then recounts her solitary life, embroidering flowers and waiting for spring. Drawn to each other, Mimì and Rodolfo leave for the café.
ACT II. Amid shouts of street hawkers, Rodolfo buys Mimì a bonnet near the Café Momus before introducing her to his friends. They all sit down and order supper. A toy vendor, Parpignol, passes by, besieged by children. Marcello’s former lover, Musetta, enters ostentatiously on the arm of the elderly, wealthy Alcindoro. Trying to regain the painter’s attention, she sings a waltz about her popularity. Complaining that her shoe pinches, Musetta sends Alcindoro to fetch a new pair, then falls into Marcello’s arms. Joining a group of marching soldiers, the Bohemians leave Alcindoro to face the bill when he returns.
ACT III. At dawn on the snowy outskirts of Paris, a Customs Officer admits farm women to the city. Musetta and revelers are heard inside a tavern. Soon Mimì walks by, searching for the place where the reunited Marcello and Musetta now live. When the painter emerges, she pours out her distress over Rodolfo’s incessant jealousy. It is best they part, she says. Rodolfo, who has been asleep in the tavern, is heard, and Mimì hides; Marcello thinks she has left. The poet tells Marcello he wants to separate from his fickle sweetheart. Pressed further, he breaks down, saying Mimì is dying; her ill health can only worsen in the poverty they share. Overcome, Mimì stumbles forward to bid her lover farewell as Marcello runs back into the tavern to investigate Musetta’s raucous laughter. While Mimì and Rodolfo recall their happiness, Musetta quarrels with Marcello. The painter and his mistress part in fury, but Mimì and Rodolfo decide to stay together until spring.
ACT IV. Some months later, Rodolfo and Marcello lament their loneliness in the garret. Colline and Schaunard bring a meager meal. The four stage a dance, which turns into a mock fight. The merrymaking is ended when Musetta bursts in, saying Mimì is downstairs, too weak to climb up. As Rodolfo runs to her, Musetta tells how Mimì has begged to be taken to her lover to die. While Mimì is made comfortable, Marcello goes with Musetta to sell her earrings for medicine, and Colline leaves to pawn his cherished overcoat. Alone, Mimì and Rodolfo recall their first days together, but she is seized with coughing. When the others return, Musetta gives Mimì a muff to warm her hands and prays for her life. Mimì dies quietly, and when Schaunard discovers she is dead, Rodolfo runs to her side, calling her name.
— courtesy of Opera News
Here you will hear and see two of my favorite opera performers, Roberto Alagna & Angela Gheorghiu
This first video is an interview with these two opera stars:
Here you can watch the entire opera La Bohème if you like:
This morning started with memories from my past. Some made me cry and others made me laugh. I stayed in bed a bit longer to enjoy my memories and try to make sense of events in my past. Events that gave no clue whatsoever that I would one day be in the Swedish countryside raising a herd of goats nor have a business of my own. For some reason it made me a bit teary this morning so my visit with my goats was accompanied by the one and only Bette Midler. I really fell in love with her during the 70’s . I can not say that those were her prime vocal years because she still continues to move hearts as she sings today, those were just important years for me because I was introduced to her.
Of course my goats were treated to a duet this morning, me and Bette Midler. My singing has a real effect on my goats. The girls stand very still as if listening, then come forward for a snuggle and rub. My boys become enchanted with me. They come for their rub downs and hugs. Music is wonderful for all living creatures.
This is one of my favorites from an appearance in 1977. it’s a bit grainy but you can hear it just fine, enjoy. If tears come, that’s ok:
A morning of fog at Gullringstorp: