Saturday, July 9, 2011
Recording Reccomendations for La Boheme
It is very difficult to actually pick from the immense selection of recordings of this opera but I have a couple of favorites for La Boheme.
This is without a doubt my favorite recording of the opera and regarded as the greatest ever. It features Jussi Bjorling and Victoria de los Angeles. Here their voices mesh beautifully and Thomas Beecham's conducting is lush bringing out all the colors in Puccini's beloved score.
Its hard to ignore Renata Scotto's interpretation of the role as she is by far the most dramatic Mimi I have ever heard. Her third act is tragic from beginning to end and once you get to the fourth act one is already crying. This DVD showcases her acting and vocal skills. Pavarotti while not active on stage showcases his lush voice and his beautiful high Cs.
This is my favorite DVD recording. It showcases the original cast of Zeffirelli's production and Strata's versatility. Stratas in my opinion was one of the greatest actresses of that time and here she shows Mimi's frailty impeccably. Her singing while not perfect fits the role perfectly. Carreras sings ardently and Scotto while not at her vocal best shows her comic and coquettish side. (This is the Mets current production.)
In my opinion the greatest opera movie in recent times features the glamorous opera couple Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon. With beautiful cinematography, gorgeous sets and colorful costumes, Robert Dornhelm's evokes the wonderful streets of Paris and Mimi's tragedy. It also features great singing from the two leads.
As for the Artists that will be performing.
Hibla Gerzmava's acclaimed performance of Mimi is displayed in this highly acclaimed ROH production. Both these performers are compelling.
Hei-Kyung Hong's Korean album shows a new side to the diva. She traces her roots like Placido Domingo and Juan Diego Florez have done in recent albums they have recorded. The music is gorgeous and one that should not be missed.
Unfortunately Dimirti Pittas and Susanna Phillips do not have solo albums. To catch Dimitri Pittas you can see him in the Macbeth DVD the Met released. More on this for my Macbeth reccomendations.
The Met also has another DVD release of La Boheme. If your curious in seeing an HD performance the Angela Gheorghiu and Ramon Vargas version is also available.