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Itís a great relief to come across an opera production which is so unashamedly straightforward, and which concentrates on telling the story as simply and affectingly as possible. This DVD, which brings us a recording that was famous on video for many years, dates all the way back to 1965, but comes up delightfully fresh. Karajan had a wonderful feel for this music, and draws superb playing from the La Scala players. The standard of singing is generally very high, with Mirella Freni at her youthful best, and Raimondi a successful and convincing Rodolfo. The constellation of supporting roles contains excellent cameos from, in particular, Rolando Panerai as an engaging Marcello, and Adriana Martino as a Musetta with undeniable sex appeal. She really steals the show, as she should, in her big second act number.
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