Music: Soprano from Spokane

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The curtains parted on the second act of La Bohème: the square outside the Café Momus, in Paris' Latin Quarter. A colorful crowd, self-conscious and unconvincingly hearty as most opera-players pretending to be real people, swarmed over the stage. The poet Rodolfo strolled in happily with his sweetheart Mimi, but his painter friend Marcello was in the dumps, and sang (in Italian): "Bring me an order of poison." He had just heard the jaunty voice of his faithless Musetta, who soon flounced in, all feathers and finery:

As through the streets I...

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