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Kiri Te Kanawa ...
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Tom Krause ...
Marcello
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Roger Soyer ...
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Yves Bisson ...
Fernand Dumont ...
Jacques Loreau ...
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opera | based on novel | See All (2) »

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Drama | Romance | Music

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Version of La Boheme (1961) See more »

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Another wonderful production of one of my all-time favourite operas
3 July 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

After Tosca, La Boheme is my second favourite Puccini opera. I love the poignant story and Puccini's amazing music. This production is wonderful, and while not my favourite La Boheme, either the 1965 or 1988 productions for me, it is well recommended. For a good recording, I recommend also the 1974 recording with Domingo, Caballe, Milnes and Blegen.

The story still maintains its poignancy(despite the odd humorous moment like Musetta's entrance and the dismay at the expense of the bill), I can't watch La Boheme without having a box of tissues at the ready during the final act, the music is sensitively performed by the orchestra and beautifully conducted especially right at the end, Mimi's act 1 aria and the affecting act 4 duet between Rodolfo and Marcello.

The costumes and sets are simple, traditional and very effective, while the camera work is good too. One complaint I have though is the sound, which sounds muffled sometimes. That said, the performances are equally as wonderful as the production itself. Kiri TeKanawa is a stunning Mimi, while her big aria in act 1 is sung very beautifully with exquisite phrasing, acting-wise and singing-wise where she shines most is the final act where she genuinely broke my heart. Placido Domingo I will always look to as an outstanding singing actor, and here is no exception, he sings a dream and his reaction to Mimi's death sounds genuine(I have seen a few productions where this bit sounds half-hearted or beautifully sung but you don't quite find the tenor singing it is completely living that moment). Tom Krause is powerful as Marcello and Wilhelmina Fernandez is a truly excellent Musetta.

All in all, wonderful. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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