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La Boheme on Broadway

La Boheme on Broadway

When Baz Luhrmann's production of La Bohème opened on Broadway in late 2002, opera cognoscenti fretted that more than just the sets and costumes would be brought up to date. It turned out there was no reason for concern. The locale was modernized to 1950s Paris, but Luhrmann didn't change a note of Puccini's well-loved score


When Baz Luhrmann's production of La Bohème opened on Broadway in late 2002, opera cognoscenti fretted that more than just the sets and costumes would be brought up to date. It turned out there was no reason for concern. The locale was modernized to 1950s Paris, but Luhrmann didn't change a note of Puccini's well-loved score, and even the libretto remained in the original Italian (with supertitles in English). Opera lovers breathed a sigh of relief, but furthermore, they soon grasped the unexpected promise of Luhrmann's production: Here was a reinvigorated, youthful Bohème that was truer to the spirit of the original than any number of worn-out revivals in established opera houses. Fresh, young voices were a key ingredient, of course, which is exactly as it should be -- Bohème is the story of two young lovers, after all. And Luhrmann found the right photogenically and vocally gifted stars to fill the two principal roles, Rodolfo and Mimi, although due to the heavy demands of the Broadway schedule, six singers were needed, performing in rotation. This original cast recording gives each of the three pairs of principals a chance to shine: Alfred Boe and Wei Hang express their newfound ardor for each other in Act One; Ekaterina Solovyeva and David Miller resign themselves to Mimi's impending fate in Act Three; and Lisa Hopkins and Jesús García give full voice to Act Four's tragic denouement. Along the way, there's Jessica Comeau's Musetta, who delivers the famous Act Two waltz in wonderfully sultry style, distressing her on-again-off-again lover, Marcello (sung by Eugene Brancoveanu and then by Ben Davis in Act Three). You'll have to look elsewhere for the complete opera -- only highlights are served up here -- but for its youthful vitality and sheer joie de vivre, Luhrmann's take on this evergreen favorite is well worth a listen. Who would have thought that opera's crown jewel could shine so brightly on the Great White Way?

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Richie Unterberger
Baz Luhrmann, most famous as the film director of Moulin Rouge and Strictly Ballroom, took a production of the famed opera La Boheme to Broadway at the end of 2002. Luhrmann updated the piece in some ways for contemporary audiences, changing the setting from the 1840s to 1957 Paris, and using three sets of performers, all in their twenties, to play the main roles of Rodolfo and Mimi. While most original Broadway cast albums are done in a day, this album was recorded over the course of several days. Perhaps because Luhrmann took some liberties in updating the production, and also because the principal singers were so young, purists might want to pass on this if they're looking for only one or two performances of the work for their collection. Other than the noise of a typewriter (it's 1957 Paris, remember), though, this is pretty faithful to the musical portion of the opera as it was originally conceived. It's well-recorded and well-sung, and so should serve fine as a document of the opera and/or the Broadway production for many listeners.

Product Details

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Related Subjects


  1. Act 1. Non sono in vena  - Huang Wei
  2. Act 1. Che gelida manina...  - Constantine Kitsopoulos
  3. Act 1. Si, mi chiamano Mimi...  - Huang Wei
  4. Act 1. O soave fanciulla!  - Huang Wei
  5. Act 2. E via i pensier!  - Daniel Okulitch
  6. Act 2. Quando me'n vo'...  - Daniel Okulitch
  7. Act 2. Chi l'ha richiesto?!  - Daniel Okulitch
  8. Act 3. Mimì?! Speravo di trovarvi qui  - Constantine Kitsopoulos
  9. Act 3. Marcello, finalmente!  - David Miller
  10. Act 3. Addio! Che! Vai?  - David Miller
  11. Act 3. Dunque: é proprio finita!  - David Miller
  12. Act 4. O Mimì tu più non torni  - Constantine Kitsopoulos
  13. Act 4. Gavotta! Minuetto  - Daniel Okulitch
  14. Act 4. C'é Mimì...  - Daniel Okulitch
  15. Act 4. Vecchia zimarra...  - Constantine Kitsopoulos
  16. Act 4. Sono andati?  - Constantine Kitsopoulos
  17. Act 4. Oh! Dio! Mimì!  - Daniel Okulitch

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Julie Miller Burkert   Flute
Jeremy Cohen   Violin
Michael Corner   Clarinet
Clifton Foster   Violin
Katie Geissinger   Ensemble
Michael Graham   Cello
Timmy Jerome   Ensemble
Janet Ketchum   Flute
Kevin Porter   Trombone
Dean Witten   Percussion,Drums,Timpani
James Bergman   Double Bass
Julianne Feldman   Cello
Robin Bonnell   Cello
Dawn Dover   Violin
Jesus "Chuy" García   cast
Adam Grupper   Ensemble,cast
Peter Lockyer   Ensemble
David Schoenbrun   Double Bass
James Shallenberger   Violin
Timothy Spears   Double Bass
Artie Storch   Percussion
Douglas Brian Martin   Piccolo,Choir Master
Teressa Adams   Cello
Daniel Levitan   Harp
Mark "Wojack" Womack   Ensemble
Adam Hunter   Ensemble
Alicia Telford   Horn
David Earl Miller   cast
Scott Macomber   Trumpet
James C. Moore   Oboe
Ellyn Pesavento   Violin
Daniel Webb   Vocals,cast
Carla Wilson   Bassoon
William Youmans   Vocals,cast
Enrique Abadla   Ensemble
Natalie Cressman   Vocals
Richard Worn   Double Bass
Dawn Harms   Violin
Michelle Caimotto   Piccolo
Joy Hermalyn   Ensemble
Candace A. Guirao   Concert Mistress
Maki Ishii   Violin
Ronald Blais   Trumpet
Clark Fobes   Bass Clarinet
Christine Arand   Ensemble
Don Benham   Trombone
Allen Biggs   Percussion
Alfred Boe   Vocals,cast
Eugene Brancoveanu   Vocals,cast
Meredith Brown   Horn
Janinah Burnett   Ensemble
Bruce Chrisp   Trombone
Lynne Cohen   English Horn
Jessica Comeau   Vocals,cast
Vanessa Conlin   Ensemble
Evangelia Costantakos   Ensemble
Kale Cumings   Trumpet
Marco D'Ambrosio   Trumpet
Peter Gelfand   Cello
Dan Entriken   Ensemble,cast
Graham Fandrei   Ensemble,cast
Dawn Foster Dodson   Cello
Rebecca Gemmer   Viola
Jennifer Goode   Ensemble
Constantine Kitsopoulos   Conductor
Jennifer Olsen   Vocals
Mark Yostand   Vocals
Chip Prince   Piccolo
Jesús Garcia   Vocals
David Miller   Vocals
Hanna Haas   Vocals
Mickey Boxell   Vocals
Ryan Andres   Vocals
Lisa Hopkins   Vocals
Lara Baez   Vocals
Bohème Cast Ensemble   cast
Daniel Okulitch   Vocals
Alanna Fox   Vocals
Antonia Kitsopoulos   Vocals
Justine Fox   Vocals
Douglas Martin   Piccolo,Choir Master
Omeed Afsarifard   Vocals
Ekaterina Solovyeva   Vocals
Bohème Pit Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Brendan Young   Vocals
Wei Huang   Vocals
Daniel Huffman   Vocals
Timothy Green   Vocals
Allison McCoy   Vocals
Ben Davis   Vocals,cast
Chlöe Wright   Vocals
Alec Page   Vocals
Sean Cooper   Ensemble,cast

Technical Credits

Shawn Murphy   Engineer,Engineering
David Frost   Producer,Executive Producer
Baz Luhrmann   Producer,Executive Producer,Essay
Mark Betts   Engineer
Douglas Kirkland   Photo Art
Frank Hartenstein   Stage Manager
Sue Adler   Production Photography
Jackie Fuchs   Legal Counsel
Constantine Kitsopoulos   Music Direction
Giuseppe Giacosa   Librettist
Luigi Illica   Librettist
Prisque Salvi   Design Associate
Noel Staunton   Executive Producer
Catherine Martin   Production Design,Costume Design
Katherine Olsen   Vocal Coach
Angus Strathie   Costume Design
Adam Silberman   Executive Producer,Management

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