In their Latin Quarter garret of Paris in 19th Century, 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. They find a way not to pay the rent and with the saving they rushed to celebrate Christmas evening at Café Momus. Rodolfo the poet remains at home for few moments promising to soon join them. It all begins with Mimi's gentle voice at the door. Might she have a light for her candle? And that one small light ignites opera's most touching and poignant love story.