Pavarotti is excellent, as expected (although the vision of a 300 pound, 50-year old man playing Rodolfo stretches the imagination), but the star of this opera is a young Fiamma Izzo d'Amico. It is hard for me to imagine such a fine performance from a 22-year old. The supporting cast is good but I have seen better and the sets are acceptable. It is the combination of Puccini's music and the voices of the two leads who make this such a wonderful experience.
As commented by another, this production was done in China and it is odd to see Chinese extras on the stage: there were not too many Chinese children in Paris in the 1980s. The audience clearly was not as conversant with European opera as we in the west are as shown by its mistimed applause but that was not really a distraction.
If you are not an opera buff then this is a good place to start. La Boheme is one of the most popular operas of all time and an excellent introduction. However, in that case concentrate on the music and voices
the subtitles will only make you laugh: most opera librettos lose a
lot in translation.
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