La Bohème, Covent Garden

It always amazes me takes longer to sing the words on the surtitle than it takes to read them = much longer. And you’d think that by the twenty-first century they would have found a cure for Mimi’s consumption and she wouldn’t have to die in the end.A fantastic seat in the second row centre stage. A return of the Richard Jones’ production, with a great set by Stewart Laing. All four lead men were well cast, with American tenor Matthew Polenzani superb as Rodolfo and Fernando Rado (Argentina), Duncan Rock (Australia) and Jeremy White (UK) giving terrific support in the lesser roles as his companions. Duncan Rock has an aura of d’Artagnan about him.We had the Italian soprano Maria Agresta as Mimi, whose voice wa almost too strong for a person saddled with tuberculosis. In the final scene, however, she perfectly displays her vulnerability and weakness. For my taste she was a bit matronly and Rodolfo a bit too old and scruffy, but that is the price you pay in opera for the necessary vocal experience.Best of all, however, is the performance of Danielle de Niese as Musetta, (the tart with a heart), whose brash independence turns to soulful pity for Mimi at the end.Musetta is a powerful and dictatorial women, gloriously played with great humour by de Niese, putting the seal on a great La Boheme.  

3 comments

  1. Eleanor Newton

    Lovely description well done Fr Ian Keep enjoying – I am now forwarding your posts to Lis Prideaux who is in charge of the Walsingham cell here, & we have a service tomorrow

    Regards

    Eleanor Newton ________________________________

  2. A masterful critique, Vicar. We played our record of La Boheme when Italian friends came to visit in the fifties, which brought the father to tears, he had recently lost a young daughter., but we didn’t know Italian.when Mimi was on her deathbed.

    9 sang so

  3. Richard Hoy

    Glad to hear you took in some music as well as all the plays. The Ideal Husband is soon starting with the MTC in Melbourne but not quite the same cast. I am still waiting for some comments on a Choral Evensong attended somewhere??

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