A women lives a miserable life in the basement of her Milan apartment, with her boring inlaws and three children (boys). Her husband has been injured. Her bleak life takes an unexpected ... See full summary »
Vittorio De Sica
Annie, a happily married woman with a loving husband and daughter, joins her company's softball team and becomes good friends with her teammate, the openly gay Maggie. Much to Annie's ... See full summary »
Comedian Harmonists tells the story of a famous, German male sextet, five vocals and piano, the "Comedian Harmonists", from the day they meet first in 1927 to the day in 1934, when they ... See full summary »
In 1830s Paris four arty types shiver in a garret, owing rent but when one of their number,musician Schaunard,earns money they are all set to buy a meal in a nearby restaurant. Poet Rodolpho stays behind to finish his writing and is interrupted by Lucia,known as Mimi,a seamstress from the next apartment. They are instantly attracted to each other and catch the others up at the restaurant where Rodolpho's painter friend Marcello is re-acquainted with his flirtatious ex-girlfriend Musetta, who dumps her sugar daddy,after getting him to pay everyone's bill,for him. Some time later Musetta and Alfredo are living together,as are Mimi and Rodolpho,but he is aware that she has tuberculosis and is mean to her in the hopes she will leave him for someone who can take better care of her. Eventually she does,Musetta splits from Marcello and the four men resume garret life. They are visited by Musetta,who has sought out Mimi,now living with a wealthy count,but dying,and has brought her back to die... Written by
don @ minifie-1
As some people may know, I am a huge fan of opera and classical music. And I am a huge fan of La Boheme, so I wanted to see this naturally. And I thought overall it was beautiful. My only complaint was the sound, some of it sounded a bit off and lazy particularly in the middle of Che Glenida Manina, at first I wasn't sure whether it was the sound or whether it was Villazon trying to be even more delicate than he was being- anyone who's seen him before will know he does have quite an eccentric, passionate and exciting presence particularly when he's talking about singing and opera.
Other than that, I loved this production of La Boheme. It's not the best(I remember the 1988 production with Mirella Freni and Luciano Pavarotti with such fondness), but it doesn't try to be. On its own, it is a very solid performance of a beautiful opera. The production values are wonderful. The photography has some interesting angles that don't jar, while the sets, lighting and costumes are very pleasing to the eye.
Puccini's music is amazing. It is an incredibly lyrical and poignant score, with some of the most breathtakingly beautiful tunes in the history of opera, particularly Mimi's Act 1 aria and the Act 3 duet, both of which bring a lump to my throat always(and it did here too). I also cannot hold back my tears during Act 4, knowing what is going to happen at the end just has me in floods, and here it did do that.
La Boheme while heart-rending does also have one or two humorous spots. Particularly in Act 2, primarily Musetta's entrance and Marcello's reactions to her and the men's shock over the expensive bill. The story is beautifully constructed and never feels forced or superficial.
The performances are top drawer. Anna Netrebko is a stunning Mimi, she is in beautiful voice, she looks beautiful, here her stage presence feels natural and understated and she really moved me in Act 4. Rolando Villazon is a pleasant surprise. Although the sound does him little favour, Villazon does do what he can to give a delicate acting performance as well as using his powerful voice to the limits without overdoing it too much. Nicole Cabell is a sheer delight as Musetta, and really holds her own, she is deliciously flirty, charming and seductive in Quando M'en Vo, yet in Act 4 we see a completely different side to Musetta that we don't expect as here she is more humble and sensitive. Marcello and Colline also perform well, and the dubbing actually doesn't distract.
Overall, beautiful version that could have been even better had the sound been more than it was. If you haven't seen it before, or any other version of La Boheme, have a box of tissues at the ready, I think you'll need them. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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