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Live from Lincoln Center New York City Opera: La Boheme (1976– ) HD online

Live from Lincoln Center New York City Opera: La Boheme (1976– ) HD online
Language: English
Category: TV Episode / Music / Musical
Original Title: New York City Opera: La Boheme
Director: Kirk Browning
Released: 1976–
Video type: TV Episode
Episode credited cast:
McIntosh Brian McIntosh Brian - Alcindoro
George Cordes George Cordes - Cordine
Alfredo Daza Alfredo Daza - Marcello
Neil Eddinger Neil Eddinger - Company
Nicole Heaston Nicole Heaston - Musetta
Bosworth Jill Bosworth Jill - Company
Maria Kanyova Maria Kanyova - Mimi
Mines Madeline Mines Madeline - Company
Keith F. Partington Keith F. Partington - Company
Louis Perry Louis Perry - Parpignol
Raul A. Reyes Raul A. Reyes - Banda / Company
Boyd Schlaefer Boyd Schlaefer - Company
Beverly Sills Beverly Sills - Herself - Hostess
Peter Strummer Peter Strummer - Benoit
Mike Timoney Mike Timoney - Banda / Company

Reviews: [1]

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    Not the best production, or one of the best even, of one of the greats in all opera, but a great one still. Actually there was very little wrong here, the one thing that I wasn't crazy about was the idea to still have Mimi and Rodolfo on stage at the end of O Soave Fanciulla, that way it really took away from that magical distant floating effect that the high notes have and have had in performance. The interviews that formed part of the broadcast didn't add very much, not much to say on interpretations and what was said was stuff that a lot of opera enthusiasts already know.

    The production certainly looks good, even with the setting updated to 1914, the costumes are very true to that period and look very handsome, Musetta's Act 2 dress being the most colourful. The sets(especially the Act 1 and 4 garret setting, that really does give off the feeling of poverty) are kept simple and intricate allowing the audience to get engrossed in the emotion of the drama rather than going for spectacle and the spectacle swamping everything, a good thing as La Boheme is not that kind of opera. The lighting, while a little dark ever so slightly at times, is expressive and appropriate, no garishness in sight and you could at least see what's going on stage. A wonderful job is done with the stage direction here, apart from that one touch. Individual character direction is brought out with real sensitivity and the drama is genuinely moving(especially in the more intimate parts like the final act, though Act 3 in this production was even more poignant). Act 2 is a lot of fun and very characterfully done, it wasn't too crowded and it didn't look that under-populated either.

    Musically, the production is even more impressive. The poetry and nuances of Puccini's timeless score is brought across perfectly in the orchestra as is the characterful style and depth of emotion. The tonal quality and textural balances make for fine listening, heavenly even in the best parts. The chorus look really animated, with one of the liveliest children's choruses of any La Boheme I've seen in a while, and they sing beautifully. The conducting gives the drama energy and pace but also allows for it and the music to properly breathe. The performances from the youthful cast are uniformly great. Particularly good is Rolando Villazon, who makes for an ardent Rodolfo in one of his most natural-looking performances(no frenziedness or vocal over-tensing here), singing with burnished tone and good musicianship with a remarkably nuanced Che Gelida Manina. Nicole Heaston stands out too as Musetta, her voice has the flexibility but also a rounded fullness and while she is funny and seductive at first this is a Musetta with emotional substance. Maria Kanyova is a very poignant Mimi, she is an incredibly expressive actress throughout, in Act 3 she really tugs at the heart-strings, with her voice it is of a gleaming beauty throughout but she is a little better in the latter two acts where she takes on a gentler approach to her singing. Alfredo Daza sings warmly and is an amusing and loyal Marcello and George Cordes brings nobility to Colline.

    All in all, a beautiful production. 9/10 Bethany Cox