This production looks familiar. Although it was filmed in 2003 it is a revival of a much older production of Zeffirelli's at La Scala. It looks good and has two wonderful stars in Marcello Alvarez as Rodolfo and Cristina Gallardo-Domas as Mimi. I have only previously seen Cristina Gallardo-Domas covered in white make-up, as Liù in Turandot and in Madama Butterfly but it came as no surprise to see how beautiful she is, like Julia Roberts but with a bigger, more natural, mouth. Gallardo-Domas's performances are always well-modulated. Whenever I see her, she starts in a very quiet way, with a little-girl voice. In this production, just as I was thinking she was not up to the part and had only been chosen for her looks she opened that huge mouth, vibrated her tonsils and rattled the rivets on the back seat of the sixth tier.
There are some nice directorial touches. I liked Alvaraz smoothing down his hair in the mirror before answering the door to a woman's voice. However the triple whammy of Che Gelida Manina, Si,Mi Chiamano Mimi and O Soave Fanciulla at the end of Act I fell somewhat flat. It sounded wonderful but I have seen it better staged. This production also has a charming Musetta in Hei-Kyuang Hong. Overall, an excellent traditional rendition of the opera. The version I saw had no sub-titles and was all the better for it.
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