It seems hard to believe that even during the last century Puccini was greatly underrated by many as a classical composer and indeed his music was considered to be far too melodic. Fortunately today, Puccini's operas have ... more »found their rightful place in the repertoires of all the leading Opera companies around the world. This production of La Bohčme remains true to the period and the libretto of the original score. The director of music, Jesús López Cobos, is to be congratulated for not making changes for changes sake. The cinematic technique employed, particularly for close ups, brings the viewers into the story almost as participants whilst at the same time the opera is clearly being performed on stage as one would expect. Inva Mula and Aquiles Machado give masterful performances as Mimi and Rodolfo, as do Laura Giordano, Fabio Maria Capitanucci and, indeed, the rest of the cast, bringing the characters to life and doing full justice to Puccini's magnificent score. A well known anecdote has it that the late King George V, when talking to Sir Thomas Beecham, remarked that La Bohčme was his favourite opera as it was the shortest one he knew of. It is not, of course, the shortest opera but the quality of the music with its wonderful arias certainly makes the time pass all too quickly.« less
George N. Lawrence | Woodland, WA United States | 12/15/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having just purchased this Blu-Ray version of La Boheme and viewed it once, I am extremely pleased. To confirm an earlier review, the format is 1.77 (16:9) and not 1.33 as given in the Amazon description. The sound formats are PCM 2.0 and PCM 5.0. Sadly, no DTS 5.1.
Mimi is sung by Inva Mula (probably best known for singing the aria in Fifth Element) who is still looking and sounding great. She is surrounded by an excellent cast. A relatively young Aquiles Machado sings Rudolpho with a fine tenor. As noted below, Machado is a bit chubby similar to Ramon Vargas. Fortunately, Rudolpho does not have to be a heartthrob. Inva Mula and the stunning Laura Giordano as Musetta (with electric red hair) more than meet the need for photogenic appeal. Nevertheless in the age of 1080p, everyone is going to have to shape up.
This version of La Boheme compares with very well with the recent HD version starring Gheorgiu and Vargas at the Met with set design and direction by Zeffirelli. Matrid has its own creative set and nimble camera work that seems to work on Blu-Ray very well.
Only the one small regret that there is no DTS 5.1. "
5 stars are to few
Edgar Betancourt | WI | 12/29/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I though that the Opus Arte productions of Die Fledermaus and Die Zauberflöte were spectacular and a tough act to follow. How wrong I was! La Boheme is even better! This production in the Madrid royal theater is unbelievable. Everything in this blueray production is fabulous, the sound is exquisite the video is fantastic and, of course, the critically acclaimed performance by the star studded cast is simply second to none. It will bring you to tears every time. If you own one blueray opera, this is the one to have!!!!!! BTW for the reviewer that commented on Rodolfo's "corpulentness" I guess Caruso's and Pavarotti's fatness made them bad tenors too!! Aquiles Machado's Rodolfo is simply fabulous!"
A very pleasing version of La Boheme
David Smith | Penn Valley, PA USA | 04/05/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am not qualified to provide a detailed analysis of the quality of the singing, but I have watched a large number of La Boheme's on DVD and seen it live at the Met in NYC at least twice. Based on my past experience I found this to be a very pleasing production. My impression of opera on blu ray (at least the opus arte series) is that it provides the ability to use very low light levels without losing image clarity -- in a slightly darkened room it comes very close to being in the opera house. The sets were splendid and the acting moving. The sound was OK, but for a little extra they could have provided a master dts track which in my opinion has the greatest clarity and provides the best "sound stage" of any of the available sound formats."
Big Boheme disappointment and on Blu-Ray
Judy Spotheim | Belgium, Europe | 11/19/2009
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Gone are the days for DVD and film that a tenor would look like a lame midget, and that precisely what the Rodolfo looks like here on this Blu-ray DVD, and an ugly Rodolfo he is too. OK, if his voice was in class with Gigli, Caruso, Stefano, Jussy Bejorling... but it is not! It is a forced voice very uncertain, and at time ugly. The Soprano (Mini) does not come close to her pears, say, Angela Ghiorghiu, (not to mention Tebaldi, Callas, De los Angeles and so forth...) and there are not many emotions reflected in her sentencing, she produces a 'flat' character of Mini, though her soft high notes that she loves to through in from time to time whether asked for by the partitura or not - these notes are exquisite, but not enough to build a character. The Musetta is sung by a wobbly, worn-out tone coming from a young soprano that has no charm and no real 'Joy of life' - it is just being sung from top of a table (the market scene) in the hope that the effect of jollity will stick; well, it does not. One would hope for a superb picture Blu-ray quality. Good quality it is but nothing to drive you to pay the extra for it. The stage is barely lightened everything is happening in the dark. The filming crew has probably no understanding of how light works and that quality of light is different for the theater viewers present and that it is different for the camera; in short: it is DARK and OBSCURE. All in all; you better look somewhere else, and the Metropolitan with Angela Ghiorgiu might be your first choice. "
John Chandler | Melbourne, Australia | 02/16/2010
(2 out of 5 stars)
"It is hard to know where to start with this production. The casting is poor with little to differentiate the Bohemians other than weight. Rodolfo makes even Pavarotti look slim! The lighting is dreadful, mostly too dark and with serious backlighting issues. Only in the last act does it come right but by then it is all too late. I cannot recommend this production at all. Rent if you must but caveat emptor."