1 Act In the attic: Christmas Eve in the miserable attic inhabited by four young artists will differ little from other evenings: Marcel is working on a painting, Rudolf, poet and writer, looks out over the rooftops of Paris. They have no money, they freeze and yet good courage. A bundle of manuscripts heats the oven only for moments. Collin, philosopher of his character, comes home empty-handed - the pawn shop was closed. But the fourth, Schaunard, the musician, has better luck. He says that nobody listens to — brought food promise a Merry Christmas. Schaunard but wants it otherwise - is assumed on Christmas Eve. Yet there is a danger: the homeowner is knocking and demands the rent. A glass of wine and the friendliness of the artist let him stumble into a trap; blinking, he speaks of a romance, reason enough for the friends, to show him the door with well played moral indignation. Rudolf is left to stop an article while you precede others in the Café of Momus. It knocks: A young woman is out there, she want to light the extinct candle. Tormented by cough drops together. Then, thankful for aid, she wants to go again; but the keys is not quite random, into loss, draughts can extinguish all lights. In the darkness, the hands can be found. Mimì she called, lets them know you stick flower... The friends call out there. Christmas Eve has lost his Trübseligkeit.
2 Act The Latin Quarter: The student quarter of Paris offers a colorful picture. Throngs of people cross the streets. Rudolf buys his Mimì a bonnet and invites Momus in the Café, she introduces friends, looking forward to their admiration. Only Marcel Kummer and his grief has a name: Musetta. On the side of as old as rich Beau, it appears with the firm intention to pull all the stops of the seduction. Marcel is not up to this onslaught in public and an old, great love is freshly cemented.
3 Act The barrier d'Enfer: Tana Februarmorgen at the tollgate that separates a Parisian suburb of the city. Workers, carters, Milchfrauen are allowed through, pass at the tavern, which is decorated with a half-finished picture of Marcel's. The wind seems musettes voice across the wall. It is cold. Mimì had dispute with Rudolf, Marcel aims to provide. Rudolf seem to escape them, she know not why. Also Marcel suspects not the real reasons; She discovers him Rudolf: Mimì was dying, she had only a short time to live, and he cannot bear to see them suffer. He must endure even more: Mimì has heard their death sentence, a coughing reveals her presence. And the heaviest succeed Rudolf's love: to alleviate despair, to bring peace to the tormented heart. Strange contrast: Marcel and Musetta. Their love seems to find the dispute.
4. Act In the attic: Three or four months have passed. Marcel and Rudolf have lost their beloved ones. Thoughtfully, they sit at work. Where is Musette, where is Mimì? Can I repeat the carefree days of yesteryear? It almost seems so: as soon as Schaunard and Collin a few paltry food, the mood is better. trying to bring out the old gaiety theatre plays, dances, fought a duel to... Musetta bringing Mimì; Mimì is marked by death. All committed to them; Thankfully, she recognizes the friends. Due to her look, Musette and Marcel are combined. Musetta sacrifices their earrings to fulfill the last wish of the sick: a muff. And Collin, a philosopher with a heart, puts his old coat. Rudolf retains the dying; they are alone with their memories. The friends come back with their gifts, a last joy for Mimì. Gently she slumbers over.