La Boheme: The Film
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Giacomo Puccini's immortal opera, in a high budget feature-film version directed by Academy Award nominee Robert Dornhelm, stars opera's 'Golden Couple', Rolando Villazon and Anna Netrebko as the protagonists, Rodolfo and Mimi. The chemistry between them is electric, unrivalled in the theatre today. Russian soprano Anna Netrebko is not only beautiful but has a marvelous voice and technique; Mexican tenor Rolando Villazon, has a wonderful voice and an incredible charisma. The excellent bonus features include fascinating interviews with all the key performers and the director, who confirms that he not only wanted to remain steadfastly faithful to Puccini's design but also document two of the leading singers of the modern age rather than embarking on a 'trendy' contemporary re-creation.
'Breathtakingly dramatic and emotional... full to the brim with some of the best vocal talents of today... director Robert Dornhelm has not only managed to stay true to Puccini's story, but has also succeeded in adding another exciting and dynamic dimension to the opera' --Opera Now Magazine
'lavishly detailed... Dornhelm translated the opera to the screen with imaginative, occasionally arty, touches... [Villazon's] singing is glorious.' --Sunday Times
'chocolatey richness directly into the vein' --The Guardian
Behind the scenes of La Boheme
Would you like to tell us about a lower price?
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Robert Dornhelm's film of "La Bohème" is amazingly good. As a favourite opera, I've seen and heard many versions, and did not really expect to find anything "new" in this one. How wrong I was! At first viewing, it seemed as if I caught my breath at the start and didn't let it go until the last note died with Mimi.
The sets are realistic and evocative of the time period and the changing seasons that underline the story. The attention to little details is wonderful ... the rough table manners of the hungry men, the way Rodolfo fusses over the faint Mimi, his visible "gulp" as her closeness begins to affect him, the good natured teasing he receives from the others at Momus, the warming of Mimi's medicine in the final scene.
Anna Netrebko's singing is just glorious. Her Mimi is different from most - ill she may be, but she is certainly not helpless or emotionally fragile. This is a girl who probably knows she doesn't have a long future, and is therefore determined to make the most of every day. She initiates the "candle" episode, and when love comes, she seizes it.
The Rodolfo of Rolando Villazón is a young man caught in a whirlwind of unexpected events - the almost unbelievable coming of love to his life, the inevitable possessiveness, the torment of his inability to save Mimi's life with his love, the ultimate despair. He looks the part, acts the part superbly, and his wonderful voice carries his heart (and mine!) on its waves.
This film was my first experience of the compelling artistic partnership of Mr Villazón and Ms Netrebko, and I can certainly see why they received such acclaim. "O Soave Fanciulla" simply took my breath away ... and from the director's comments in the bonus documentary, that reaction was not unique to me.
The supporting cast members are likewise believable in every way - I was especially impressed with the Musetta of Nicole Cabell. Her allure is achieved with subtle nuances of expression rather than "in-your-face" brashness ... an interesting and very appealing interpretation which reveals an underlying depth not often seen in the character of Musetta until the final scene.
The bonus documentary is excellent - including "behind the scenes", and insightful interviews with director and cast. It enables us to see firsthand the challenges of creating a successful operatic story when filming the scenes devoid of a live audience, orchestra and stage.
A professional reviewer in an Australian arts magazine recently labelled this "the finest opera film of the last two decades". I agree with him.
The sets, the lighting, the costumes and the incredibly imaginative, artistic cinematography ..... Puccini would be very proud of every aspect of this work of art.
Though Rolando Villazon is in good voice, his scruffy visual image and anxiety portrayal mars the spirit of Rodolfo, the poet who declares in song that he's a millionaire in spirit. This performance is not on par with Villazon's dynamic Alfredo of the 2005 Salzburg Festival La Traviata.
My ideal Rodolfo remains the world famous tenor, Neil Shicoff. His 1982 Royal Opera Boheme filmed at Covent Garden is a cut above and now is available on DVD. I first saw Neil Shicoff in the 1980'S in this role at the Metropolitan Opera. My first thought was that he was my ideal Rodolfo and I've been duly mesmerized since then. A 2003 La Scala Boheme on DVD with Marcello Alvarez portrays a softer yet convincing Rodolfo. Both tenors are far more appealing as Rodolfo than Villazon.
Anna Netrebko as a saucy Mimi has great chemistry with Rolando Villazon. She's a genteel, dreamy Mimi with just a touch of the accustomed defiance with which she endows her heroines. This film is considerably enriched by her vocal elegance. She's a jewel of a Mimi languishing through a cruel fate in bleak surroundings.
Netrebko's interpretation of Mimi differs from that of Mirella Freni, a favorite Mimi, who graciously autographed my musical score of La Boheme backstage at the Met in 1985. Freni's incredible Mimi is truly angelic; a portrait of a tragically ill woman with a noble spirit.
The overall view of life in much of La Boheme is through rose-colored glasses; that is until the calling card of Mimi's impending death trumps it into stark reality. A wise physician once told me that despite the tragic themes in opera, people who listen to opera have a positive outlook on life. Perhaps this is because the music itself lifts everything into a higher realm as we fall under the spell woven by passionate artists doing what they do best.
Most recent customer reviews
Breathes life into an otherwise difficult tragedy.
Film makes this opera intimate and personal in a wonderful way...Read more