Updating La Boheme into Le Bourgeois

The very popular opera needs more contemporary relevance. Fortunately, Seattle Opera is on the case and has commissioned a new sequel, set in high-rent Seattle and featuring the heartbreak of capitalism.
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The very popular opera needs more contemporary relevance. Fortunately, Seattle Opera is on the case and has commissioned a new sequel, set in high-rent Seattle and featuring the heartbreak of capitalism.

With the success of their production of La Boheme, Seattle Opera announced it will add a newly commissioned companion piece, Le Bourgeois, to next season's schedule. I managed to get a leaked copy of the plot synopsis. ACT I – Seattle, 2006. The curtain rises on the media room of a large Seattle house. Rodolfo, a lawyer, and Marcello, a venture capitalist, are watching a football game in high definition on a 60-inch plasma TV. Marcello complains that the room is cold. Rodolfo explains that he is trying to lessen his carbon footprint. Schaunard, a stockbroker, arrives and announces he has made a killing through insider trading. In celebration he has brought an assortment of Corsican cheeses that he maintains are the perfect accompaniment to the Washington state syrahs that Rodolfo collects. (Aria: As Brin D'Amour, also known as Fleur du Maquis, ages its coating of rosemary needles dries ...) Marcello suggests that they all go to L'Addition, a Thai-Languedoc fusion restaurant for dinner. Rodolfo says he will join them after he answers some e-mails on his Blackberry. Rodolfo's wife Mimi enters, having returned from her rock climbing class. Poignantly, she talks about her life and her work as a radiologist. (Aria: My name is Mimi. I read X-rays. The HMOs are screwing me on reimbursements ...) They are about to drive to L'Addition when Mimi discovers she cannot find the keys to the Lexus hybrid. Rodolfo comments that she is always misplacing things. The act ends happily as they enumerate their common dislikes. (Duet: Rap music sucks, gardeners who can't speak English suck, the estate tax sucks ...) ACT II: That evening at L'Addition's outdoor dining area. Colline, Marcello, and Schaunard anticipate the next Husky football game. (Trio: dee-FENSE, dee-FENSE ...) Rodolfo enters with Mimi, who is wearing a Burberry visor that he just gave her. They join their friends and discuss real estate values. (Quintet: A fixer down the street went for $3.6 million ...) Papingnol, the coach, and his select sixth grade soccer team parade by. (Chorus: Soccer practice to piano lessons to play dates to Mandarin immersion classes ...) Musetta, Marcello's ex-wife, enters the restaurant, escorted by Alcindoro, the wealthy partner of a private equity firm. Musetta incites Marcello's jealously by boasting how much the stock she obtained in the divorce has appreciated. (Aria: 28 percent annual pre-tax return ...) Complaining of plantar fasciitis, she sends Alcindoro to find a podiatrist to raise the angle on her orthotic, and then falls into Marcello's arms. ACT III: Outside a ski chalet in Sun Valley, Idaho. Marcello and Musetta discuss skiing conditions. (Duet: The bowls were groomed yesterday ...) Mimi enters and tells Marcello she has had it with Rodolfo. (Aria: What a jerk. Why can't he be reasonable?) When she hears Rodolfo's voice, she hides in the Chalet's boot room/video game center. Unaware that Mimi can hear him, Rodolfo complains to Marcello. (Aria: Why can't she be reasonable?) He then reveals that he loves Mimi. However, she has tennis elbow and he can't bear the thought of playing mixed doubles with another partner. Mimi rushes out and they agree to reconcile. (Duet: We can't afford capital gains tax on the house if we divorce ...) The act ends with Marcello and Musetta fighting. (Duet: I'm shouting? You're the one who's shouting!) ACT IV: Some months later in the media room. Rodolfo and Marcello lament their investment reverses. (Duet: Oh fickle NASDAQ ...) Colline and Schaunard arrive with assorted sushi (Toro, Unagi, Uni, Kani, Kohada, and Hotate). After drinking two bottles of 2004 Condrieu la Doriane (Guigal), the four stage a mock golf match. (Quartet: Drive for show, putt for dough. Never up, never in ...) Their merriment is interrupted by Musetta, who brings the news that Mimi is downstairs suffering again from tennis elbow. Colline, Schaunard, Marcello, and Musetta leave to find help. (Quartet: We'll need an acupuncturist, a physical therapist, an orthopedic physician, a massage therapist, an herbalist, and a faith healer ...) Alone, Mimi and Rodolfo recall their first days together, but she is seized with elbow pain when she tries to open her Hermès Birkin bag. Tragically, she calls the tennis club and forfeits the quarterfinal match in women's flight six. The act ends as Rodolfo rushes to her side, piteously calling her name.


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