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Puccini – La Boheme


Mimi – Inva Mula

Musetta – Laura Giordano

Rudolfo – Aquiles Machado

Marcello – Fabio Maria Capitanucci

Schaunard – David Menendez

Colline – Felipe Bou

Conductor – Jesus Lopez Cobos

Stage Director – Giancarlo del Monaco

Set & Costume Designer– Michael Scott

TV Director – Robin Lough

Lighting Designer – Wolfgang von Zoubek


Filmed at Teatro Real , Madrid – March 2006


Opus Arte OA 0961 D 2 DVDs – 149 mins



Giancarlo del Monaco takes a deliberately cinematic approach to La Boheme, and every detail in Puccini's stage directions and libretto is faithfully included in this lavish, million euros production which looks fabulous on film.


Rudolfo's garret appears to fill the stage, yet at the end of the scene a back drop rises to achieve a switch to the big Café Momus set that is virtually instantaneous. Christmas Eve in the artists' quartier is so bustling with action that it is almost impossible to absorb everything on first viewing. Don't miss Toulouse Lautrec amongst the crowd, and watch out for Puccini's portrait displayed behind the bar.


The daybreak scene at the gates of Paris is equally atmospheric, with the back of the stage seemingly disappearing into limitless distance – superb lighting.


The principals have all the enthusiasm of a group of young friends, and it is good to see an Alcindoro (Alfredo Mariotti) who isn't simply a comic caricature. Singing standards are treated with equal respect and the emotional balance is well judged under the baton of Jesus Lopez Cobos .


Of course for a popular opera such as this there are plenty of DVDs to choose from (Amazon lists more than 20), but this is an outstanding one, and will stand up to repeated playing.


Serena Fenwick