Puccini - La Boheme / Neil Shicoff, Ileana Cotrubas, Thomas Allen, Marilyn Zschau, Gwynne Howell, Lamberto Gardelli, Covent Garden Opera
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The DVD features the film version of Puccini's opera (directed by Robert Dornhelm) along with a Making of La Boheme and interviews with several of the cast members.
I was highly impressed with the creativity involved. The four acts float by, fluid, flawless and there isn't one dull or trite moment. If anything, Dornhelm has helped to enhance some of the minor and least known elements of the opera, bringing more insight and colour to an already incredible piece of music. In previous versions of La Boheme I've seen, the minor characters always felt more 'minor' as as if the director simply wanted to focus on the tragic lovers whereas here, everything and everyone is essential. Dornhelm has a compassion directorial eye and I found myself moved even by the toy salesman and the people waiting at the gate in the cold.
A must have. If you loved Gianfranco de Bosio's version of Puccini's Tosca this is another DVD to own, cherish and watch on a wintery night. Best enjoyed in the company of pizza, wine, french bread and good opera-loving friends.
For instance, when the men are horsing around upstairs, Mimi is shown hearing the raucus downstairs in her apartment, then purposely bringing a candle up the stairs and blowing it out to join the party. A nice bit of motivation. But then when she and Rudolfo leave his apartment to join the others at Momus, she leads him by the hand into her apartment, where they are shown undressed, making passionate love. It is very physical and rapidly advances their relationship, but a bit of a shock to how they are able to fit this in, yet still make it to the festivities in time for dinner. Arguably, an acceptable, although awkward, trade-off. But, being a film, there are constantly issues that take away from our sense of involvement.
In many cases, the singers voices are slightly out-of-synch. Similarly, there is cut after cut where the action doesn't quite match with the previous scene. In some cases, there are excesses where one scene superimposes on another to give some sort of filmic, dreamy effect that takes away, rather than enhances our involvement. There are also scenes, typical of many filmed versions of operas, where the singers are heard singing, but where on camera, they are just making love.Read more ›
Netrebko and Villazon sing and act superbly; the Vienna sets are most convincing. The widescreen is great. The support performances are also first rate, especially Nicole Cabell as Musetta. It's a delightful emotional wallow!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
For the reasons generally repeated in the three star and under reviews, not enjoyable and even irritating at times. Read morePublished 16 days ago by T. Burke
Absolutely one of my favorite Bohemes and I have seen many. So beautifully done and you can not beat Netrebko and Villazon together!Published 29 days ago by Terry L. Baucom
Two best singers make it so memorable that plays in your ears well past the performance.Published 3 months ago by Bakhit Kourman
We are not Opera buffs so this was new for us. Good thing it had English subtitles or we would have fallen asleep in the first 5 minutes. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Mike
WOW! Unbelievable. Normally any stage production loses a lot being translated to the screen, much less a television screen, but this DVD is phenomenal. Read morePublished 6 months ago by John J. Koons
For me, the best version of this lovely and passionate Puccini opera.Published 6 months ago by Ricardo Urtubia
My husband is a huge opera fan. This one of the best filmed performances of La Boheme. They are two of the best Opera Singers; we've watched many other of their duets on amazon... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Joan Infield
The chemistry between Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon is breathtaking. I almost felt as though I were an intruder while experiencing the passion of Mimi and Rudolfo's intimate... Read morePublished 13 months ago by joan murray
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