La Bohème (Teatro alla Scala)

La Bohème (Teatro alla Scala)

Director: Wilhelm Semmelroth Cast: Gianni Raimondi, Mirella Freni, Rolando Panerai
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La Bohème (Teatro alla Scala) 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Of all the available videos of ''La Boheme'' this one is by far the best. Mirella Freni is nearly perfect as Mimi and all the other singers are excellent as well. This film was made before Luciano Pavarotti achieved world fame, so another tenor, Gianni Raimondi, was selected. He doesn't have quite the vocal allure that Pavarotti could have brought to the role, but he's an excellent and stylish singer. Karajan's conducting is not bested on any other video of this work, and Zeffirelli has never made a better opera film (he has made several far worse ones). There are no visual excesses or contradictions of music or text. The evocation of nineteenth century Paris is entirely convincing. NOTE: A Freni/Pavarotti video of Boheme (San Francisco Opera) is available on DVD but the performance is far inferior to this one, primarily because of uninspired conducting but also because the two leading singers (then in their fifties) take the downward transpositions in Act I. There is a Metropolitan Opera telecast available that might seem promising, but in spite of great conducting by James Levine and a visually arresting production (also by Zeffirelli), the performance suffers from the out-of-condition singing of Teresa Stratas and Jose Carreras (both fine artists but just not at their best on the occasion) and the miscasting of Renata Scotto, at that time in the worst voice of her career, as Musetta. No other Boheme video comes close to this film, certainly not the Australian Opera performance which has routine playing and conducting, and singing that ranges from mediocre to really bad. So, if you're looking for a ''Boheme'' DVD, Karajan/Zeffirelli/Freni is the one to get.