In an attic apartment in the Latin Quarter of Paris, a group of young artists are living together in poverty. Their neighbour, the little seamstress Mimi, introduces herself, seeking a light for her candle, when Rodolfo is left alone. They fall in love. At the Café Momus Rodolfo presents Mimi to his friends, while the singer Musetta abandons her elderly rich lover Alcindoro in order to join Marcello. Alcindoro is left to settle the bill for all of them. Time has passed. Mimi has lived with Rodolfo, but they quarrel, because of his apparent jealousy. He has planned to leave her, as we learn in a scene set on a cold winter morning by the city gates. Musetta, a contrast in character to the gentle Mimi, later returns to the attic apartment of the four young men, bringing with her the dying Mimi, whom they now try to comfort, but in vain, as she dies before their eyes of the consumption that has racked her.