Puccini: La Boheme: Live from the Met
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Puccini's immortal classic of love and loss, with Franco Zeffirelli's sumptuous, iconic production and Nicola Luisotti's expressive conducting. Angela Gheorghiu, the leading Puccini soprano of our time, reprises the role of Mimì, while tenor Ramón Vargas gives a sensitive reading of Rodolfo. All these forces combine for a truly definitive performance of this beloved opera!
The MET provides a luxurious cast to complement the sumptuous setting. Tenor Ramón Vargas is an excellent Rodolfo, singing with passion, imaginative phrasing, and coloring his beautiful lyric voice to fit the text. Mimi is Angela Gheorghiu, always a stellar singing actress. Here she sings with a sensitivity to match her Rodolfo, exquisitely coloring her voice, as in her Mi chiamano Mimi, where she thins her voice at the start and then opens it out to bloom when she sings of the approach of spring. As an actress, shes best after the first Act, when she abandons the coy, girlish tics that seem out of place. In the last Act, shes profoundly moving in the death scene, as is Vargas, who is touching in his portrayal of Rodolfos desperation and sense of loss. Baritone Ludovic Téziers Marcello is well sung, as is soprano Ainhoa Artetas Musetta, the latter delivering a sparkling Quando men vo in the Café Momus scene. Rodolfos pals, Oren Gradus as Colline and Quinn Kelsey as Schaunard, are excellent, and veteran bass Paul Plishka contributes some nice comic turns as Benoit and Alcindoro. --Dan Davis
La Bohème is an all-regions disc in 16:9 ratio. Sound options include PCM Stereo and DTS 5.1 Surround. Sung in Italian, subtitles include English, French, German, Italian and Spanish. Extras include backstage interviews by Renée Fleming and a short tribute, "Zeffirelli at the Met."
Top Customer Reviews
This DVD is a recording of the performance of La Boheme at the Met on April 5/2008 which was transmitted in HD worldwide. The first night was on 3/29th with the same cast, and the reviews in NY papers and the one here by Ivy Lin were based on the the opening night performance, not the one used on this disc. I attended the opening and agree with most of Ms. Lin's observations, i.e.: Vargas ' voice being "lyric,bright,ardent" hitting
the high C in Che Gelida Manina "delicately"; Gheorghiu's aggressiveness and sluttishness, and her being out of sync in her Act1 aria. I do not agree with her claim that Vargas was too chubby and phlegmatic to be a believable Rodolfo, but I tend to agree with her comments about the Mimi. I cannot blame Ms. Lin because I myself found Ms.Gheorghiu to be trying hard to appear too romantic and taken with her man. She practically mauled him at the Cafe Momus with her exuberance. I did not attend the April 5th performance but I listened to the PBS radio broadcast and saw the moviecast of the event,and was very happy with the positive changes and improvement over the opening night performance. The excessive touching, smooching and other distractions were toned down, and the musical matters went on smoothly.
This disc has outstanding video and audio worthy of the Met's 50-yr old classic Zeffirelli production with an ideal casting of Angela Gheorghiu and Ramon Vargas in the principal roles, supported by a fine mix of veterans and newcomers to the Met. Everyone in this line up is gifted with enormous talent, rich voice and fine musicality.Read more ›
Every one of the six principals is magnificent, singing and acting gloriously. At first, I was concerned that the extremely expansive tempi Maestro Luisotti employs would enervate the production. But, while the tempo for "Mi chiamano Mimi," combined with the close-ups in HD of Angela Gheorghiu performing in the gigantic Metropolitan Opera House, does elicit some silent movie actress-like facial expressions and gestures from her, on the whole, these tempi allow each of the singers to bring a greater variety of coloration to their tones than one usually hears, which in turn only enhances the dramatic impact. For example, I usually find "O Mimi tu piu non torni" to be a pretty, but somewhat annoying, diversion before the drama of the final act commences. BUt under Maestro Luisotti and with the beautiful and sensitive singing of Ramon Vargas and Ludovic Tezier, it becomes one of the most moving moments of the opera. In fact, I was in tears throughout the final act. Every characters emotions were heartfelt and never schmaltzy or overheated.
Also with respect to coloration, Ms. Gheorghiu produced some of the darkest tones I have ever heard in "Donde lieta usci." While others have made this a pretty and nostalgic aria, Ms. Gheorghiu with subtlety rips out your heart just as Mimi's has been torn from her.Read more ›
Firstly it is possible to suggest that there are at least 3 good versions available, all of which are likely to give great satisfaction to a great number of people. This is perhaps because this opera is such a fine creation that it enables the participants to rise to their best. So if there is a world class team engaged it is likely that you will get a world class result with little risk of failure.
Rather than give a detailed review of each version therefore I will attempt a general summary of the options based on these 3 productions. They are the two Zeffirelli productions at The Met and at La Scala. There is also the Copley production by way of comparison at the Royal Opera.
There are some key considerations in my opinion. Firstly the group of four men must work well as a team in addition to individual merits. Rodolfo, Mimi, Musetta and Marcello must also communicate strongly to each other in the same way. The end must be genuinely draining.
The Met performance delivers on all counts. Gheorghiu and Vargas both deliver a believable relationship with each other. All 4 men relate well to each other.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wonderful production. Well worth the addition to my library.Published 2 months ago by Dennis Palmer
This DVD is a modern version of Puccini's "La Boheme". The cast is excellent with Angela Gheorghiu playing an excellent Mimi. Read morePublished 4 months ago by James D. Weinberg
This is an opera you must have, Franco Zeffirelli is my favorite designer. ThanksPublished 14 months ago by Javier Merino
great performances by terrific cast in beautiful production of most-beloved, top world popular opera of Puccini - I loved it!Published on March 21, 2014 by Nancie Kennedy
I will watch it again and again. It was almost like being in the theater.
I have recommended it to many of my friends.
I'll not give myself out as a music fundy, but I've seen serveral DVDs and have a number of her CDs. Read morePublished on June 22, 2013 by H.J.Barnardt
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