From the Met Archives: Puccini's La Bohème

« previous episode | next episode »

Saturday, October 01, 2011

This week we take a trip back through the Met archives, to a February 15, 1958 broadcast of Puccini's La Bohème. Recently remastered, the recording features Licia Albanese as Mimì, heard almost exactly 28 years after her first Met appearance in the role. Her Rodolfo is Carlo Bergonzi, still early in the first decade of his almost 40-year career.

Thomas Schippers conducts the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and Chorus, with a cast that includes Mario Sereni (Marcello), Laurel Hurley (Musetta), Norman Scott (Colline) and Clifford Harvuot (Schaunard).

Note: the previously scheduled broadcast of Wagner's Das Rheingold from the San Francisco Opera will now air on Oct. 15. The rest of the "Ring" cycle will proceed weekly from there.

Comments [13]

Bernie from UWS

I suspect WQXR management had some issue with the Ring and decided to ax it this weekend. Maybe it wasn't "relaxing" enough for their sensitive listeners.

Oct. 01 2011 06:52 PM

I don't know what's going on but I heard the 1st two parts of the LA Ring on the Internet from WTFM.

Oct. 01 2011 04:58 PM
mrs newman

Dear Blue Hunt,

Wotan protect and defend you! Would there be more like you!

Life is short. Make sure you enjoy the ride.

Mrs Newman

Oct. 01 2011 02:54 PM
Blue Hunt from New York City

I play rock, r& b and funk. I don't claim to know much about opera but i do know what i like when i hear it. Albanese and Bergonzi and their remastered event of La Boheme are incredibly MOVING! I'm a believer!
So for the snobs and nay sayers out there. Put THAT in your pipe and smoke it!

Oct. 01 2011 02:46 PM
Jonathan Brown

Now that WQXR has revised the schedule perhaps they can tell us what opera is on next Saturday

Oct. 01 2011 02:24 PM

yikes, I love Licia (met her many times) but this is just about the ugliest, wobbly Mimi I've ever heard, good singing but just plain ugly.

Bergonzi was and remains the poor man's Corelli. And can't he sing the vowel A instead of O all the time? sheesh. I'll take Piotr Beczala any day.

Oct. 01 2011 02:05 PM
Pauline Park from Queens

Licia Albanese is a wonderful Mimì and as Rodolfo, Carlo Bergonzi is a revelation: there is no detectable strain in his high notes, such as one finds even in the singing of the great Jussi Bjoerling. And this is a live recording, no less. I saw Carlo Bergonzi in recital at Covent Garden, in what I believe was his last solo performance at the Royal Opera House, and one can only dream of a tenor of that quality in that role today. Thanks, WQXR, for playing this remastered recording; it reminds one of how truly great the greatest singers of the past really were~!

Oct. 01 2011 02:03 PM
Peter Feldman from New York City

I was listening and wondering who was that GREAT tenor singing La Boheme from the Met 1958 season because we do not hear singers like him nowadays. I thought that he was Gigli, Bjorling or DiStefano.

He was CARLO BERGONZI. He was a REAL TENOR. Not a mediocre Beczala, Grigolo or Pittas that the Met is presenting now.

Fortunately I saw Bergonzi in Rigoletto, Un Ballo in Maschera, La Gioconda and La Forza del Destino.

Oct. 01 2011 01:53 PM
mrs newman

I'm sorry people are disappointed but, seriously, I'd rather have Bergonzi and Albanese in "Boheme" than NO OPERA AT ALL, which, in some places is exactly what they're getting.

To quote George Carlin, "If you don't like the weather...MOVE!"

Mrs Newman

Oct. 01 2011 01:21 PM
Jonathan Brown

I heard that the LA Lohengrin was not broadcast outside of LA.

I don't know the reason.

Oct. 01 2011 09:47 AM
Hannelore Hahn from Woodcliff Lake, NJ

I have been a WQXR listener for over 60 years and have only rarely been disappointed.
Recently you didn't broadcast Los Angeles opera's "Lohengrin" and now San Francisco opera's "Ring", as announced.
I plan my schedule around Saturday's opera broadcasts and find these disappointments disconcerting.
Try to avoid them in future.

Oct. 01 2011 09:23 AM
Jonathan Brown

On the website you have 2 dates for Siegfried the 15th and the 29th of October. Which is it?

Sep. 30 2011 07:28 PM
Jonathan Brown

What happened to the first 2 operas in the Ring Cycle from SFO. We are entitled to an explanation from WQXR. That was what was originally scheduled.

Sep. 30 2011 06:45 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

The WQXR e-newsletter. Show highlights, links to music news, on-demand concerts, events from The Greene Space and more.