When Rodolfo, a penniless poet, meets Mimì, a seamstress, they fall instantly in love. But their happiness is threatened when Rodolfo learns that Mimì is gravely ill.
Rodolfo is painfully aware that he cannot afford the medicine and care Mimì needs, and so separates from her. As her sickness takes hold Mimì returns to Rodolfo’s garret. They are joyfully reunited – but, despite the care of Rodolfo and his friends, Mimì dies.