Puccini's La Boheme

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Saturday, June 22, 2013

The Lyric Opera of Chicago's production of La Boheme, recorded earlier this year, has several draws. The celebrated Russian soprano Anna Netrebko makes her belated Lyric debut as the consumptive heroine, Mimi, singing opposite the Maltese tenor Joseph Calleja as her lover, the poet Rodolfo.

Baritone Lucas Meachem plays the temperamental Marcello, soprano Elizabeth Futral is the sassy Musetta, bass Andrea Silvestrelli is Colline and baritone Joseph Lim is Schaunard. Emmanuel Villaume conducts.

CAST:
Mimì  Anna Netrebko
Rodolfo  Joseph Calleja
Musetta  Elizabeth Futral
Marcello Lucas Meachem
Colline  Andrea Silvestrelli
Schaunard Joseph Lim
Benoit/Alcindoro Dale Travis

CONDUCTOR: Emmanuel Villaume
STAGE DIRECTOR:  Louisa Muller
LYRIC OPERA ORCHESTRA & CHORUS
CHORUS MASTER:  Ian Robertson

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Comments [8]

Les from Miami, Florida

Anna Netrebko is a diva of today and Joseph Calleja is certainly a reigning tenor of today who does resemble Bjoerling in approach to Rodolfo and in the high notes. Concerning the other bohemians unknown to me, Lucas Meachem impressed me the most as Marcello. I wonder if others are disturbed by the current trend to present Act II immediately after Act I which seems to distort Puccini's time frame. Similarly, singing "Che gelida manina" transposed (which many great singers have elected to do) alters the effect of Puccini's use of the tritone since the aria as written is in A-flat and "Mi chiamano Mimi" begins with an E natural. I've always thought Rodolfo doubling Mimi's high C at the end of Act I was just to show off the tenor's high C. Instead of singing F to E, Mr. Calleja sang F to C. The military tattoo that concludes Act II started too loud for me and was too slow, as French marches certainly of that period were fast. All in all, hearing Calleja, Netrebko and Meachem was a joy from start to finish.

Jun. 23 2013 09:49 AM
Les from Miami, Florida

Anna Netrebko is a diva of today and Joseph Calleja is certainly a reigning tenor of today who does resemble Bjoerling in approach to Rodolfo and in the high notes. Concerning the other bohemians unknown to me, Lucas Meachem impressed me the most as Marcello. I wonder if others are disturbed by the current trend to present Act II immediately after Act I which seems to distort Puccini's time frame. Similarly, singing "Che gelida manina" transposed (which many great singers have elected to do) alters the effect of Puccini's use of the tritone since the aria as written is in A-flat and "Mi chiamano Mimi" begins with an E natural. I've always thought Rodolfo doubling Mimi's high C at the end of Act I was just to show off the tenor's high C. Instead of singing F to E, Mr. Calleja sang F to C. The military tattoo that concludes Act II started too loud for me and was too slow, as French marches certainly of that period were fast. All in all, hearing Calleja, Netrebko and Meachem was a joy from start to finish.

Jun. 23 2013 09:49 AM
Les from Miami, Florida

Anna Netrebko is a diva of today and Joseph Calleja is certainly a reigning tenor of today who does resemble Bjoerling in approach to Rodolfo and in the high notes. Concerning the other bohemians unknown to me, Lucas Meachem impressed me the most as Marcello. I wonder if others are disturbed by the current trend to present Act II immediately after Act I which seems to distort Puccini's time frame. Similarly, singing "Che gelida manina" transposed (which many great singers have elected to do) alters the effect of Puccini's use of the tritone since the aria as written is in A-flat and "Mi chiamano Mimi" begins with an E natural. I've always thought Rodolfo doubling Mimi's high C at the end of Act I was just to show off the tenor's high C. Instead of singing F to E, Mr. Calleja sang F to C. The military tattoo that concludes Act II started too loud for me and was too slow, as French marches certainly of that period were fast. All in all, hearing Calleja, Netrebko and Meachem was a joy from start to finish.

Jun. 23 2013 09:49 AM
concetta nardone from Nassau

CBC: Hope you are well. May Bjoerling rest in peace. I remember my son hearing him for the first time remarking "Who the hell is that?"
Very much like Calleja singing. Enjoy today's broadcast.
Bravo all around.
Best wishes

Jun. 22 2013 02:50 PM
HDKayne from Manhattan

My favorite: Renata Tebaldi, Carlo Bergonzi with Gianna D'Angelo as Musetta (and the very great Cesare Siepi as Colline). Very old London recording

Jun. 22 2013 02:22 PM

CBC that Bjorling Boheme was my 1st & still my favorite. A close # 2 was a '52 Met b'cast with Albanese & DiStefano. What an easy High C he had & such a beautiful voice. But the Bjorling is still my 1st love. All my best.

Jun. 22 2013 12:43 PM
concetta nardone from Nassau

Calleja is a very fine tenor. Tired of this opera but will listen because of Mr. Calleja. I have a cd of Jussi Bjoerling and Victoria de los Angeles. Very hard to top that.

Jun. 22 2013 07:12 AM
Kenneth Bennett Lane, Lake Hiawatha, NJ from Richard Wagner Music Drama Institute, Boonton, NJ

Anything, any role that ANNA NETREBCO portrays is a masterpiece of vocalism, dramaturgy and musicianship.
We are so lucky to have this beautiful woman portraying sympathetic romantic heroines.

Jun. 22 2013 02:25 AM

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