28 May 2011 | TheLittleSongbird
One of my favourite productions of one of my favourite operas
This had all the ingredients to be good, Karajan, Freni and Zeffirelli being just a few. This was more than just good, it is outstanding and one of my favourite productions along with the 1988 production with Pavarotti and Freni.
The costumes are lovely without being too fluttery or fancy, and the sets and backdrops are suitably sumptuous. I also loved the photography, which is fluid and skillful. La Boheme is my second favourite Puccini opera after Tosca.
Not just for the amazing music(which has Che Gelida Manina, Ci, mi chiamano mimi, Quando m'en vo, the ensemble at the end of act 3 and In Un Coupe), but for its wonderful characters, heart-rending ending and beautiful story.
La Boheme is quite poignant mostly, but particularly in act 2 there are moments of humour such as the disbelief of the expense of the dinner bill. Karajan's conducting is superb, Zeffirelli does a fine job with the production values, the direction is excellent and the two lead performances from Giani Raimondi and especially Mirella Freni are sublime. And they are supported strongly by Rolando Pennerai and Adriana Martino.
All in all, wonderful. 10/10 Bethany Cox