Aureole etc.




Nimbus on-line




If it’s the Czech works you’re after, do not hesitate

  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett


Some items
to consider

 


Enjoy the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra wherever you are. App available for iOS and Android


Mahler symphony 6 Nott


Vaughan Williams Symphony 3 etc.


Lyrita New Recording


Lyrita Premiere Recordings

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage

Lyrita 4CDs £16 incl.postage


Decca Phase 4 - 40CDs


Judith Bailey, George Lloyd


BAX Orchestral pieces


CASKEN Violin Concerto

Schumann Symphonies Rattle


Complete Brahms
Bargain price

 

 

 

 

REVIEW
Plain text for smartphones
and printers



Gerard Hoffnung CDs

Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and get a free CD

New Releases

Naxos Classical

Hyperion

Musicweb sells the following labels
Acte Préalable
Alto
Arcodiva
Atoll
CDAccord
Cameo Classics
Centaur
Hallé
Hortus
Lyrita
Nimbus
Northern Flowers
Redcliffe
Sheva
Talent
Toccata Classics


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample
 

 
Support us financially by purchasing this disc from:

Giacomo PUCCINI (1858 - 1924)
La bohème (1896)
Ji-Min Park (tenor) - Rodolfo; José Carbó (baritone) - Marcello; David Parkin (bass) - Colline; Shane Lowrencev (baritone) - Schaunard; Takesha Meshé Kizart (soprano) - Mimi; Taryn Fiebig (soprano) - Musetta; John Bolton Wood (bass) - Benoit; Adrian Tamburini (bass) - Alcindoro; Benjamin Rasheed (tenor) - Parpignol; Malcolm Ede (bass) - Customs sergeant; Clifford Plumpton (bass) - Customs officer
Opera Australia Chorus, Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra/Shao-Chia Lü
Director: Gale Edwards
Set Designer: Brian Thomson
Costume Designer: Julie Lynch
Lighting Designer: John Rayment
TV Director: Cameron Kirkpatrick
Audio formats: LPCM Stereo; DTS-HD Master Audio, Picture Format 16:9
rec. live at the Sydney Opera House on 25 and 28 July 2011
Also available as CD - OPOZ56019CD
OPERA AUSTRALIA OPOZ56017DVD [117:00]

Experience Classicsonline



This production of La bohème, premiered at the Arts Centre, Melbourne on 12 April 2011 and later moved to the Sydney Opera House, where it was filmed. It can lay claim to being one of the most luxurious ever of this opera, at least when it comes to the Momus scene: colourful, crowded, cumulative, chaotic, coruscating, contrastive and comic. It is a feast for the eye and one might easily believe that all the visual splendour would outdo the central plot - but it doesn’t. The other acts are less flamboyant but gorgeous even so. The action has been transported from Paris to Berlin and the time is the early 1930s. Musetta looks like a mix of Mae West and Marlene Dietrich. She is an engaging actress and so are the rest of the cast. Visually and theatrically this production is a winner.
 
Musically there are swings and roundabouts. Taiwanese conductor Shao-Chin Lü, one of the leading opera conductors for more than fifteen years, opts for fastish tempos throughout, which I greatly prefer compared to certain maestros who drag and over-sentimentalizes a score where there is so much sentiment anyway. Thomas Beecham’s legendary EMI recording is hard to beat for the exquisitely chiselled phrases at what he states were Puccini’s preferred tempos. He has singers who can manage long unbroken phrases without running out of breath. The chorus is great in the stunning second act and the orchestra is in fine fettle. Concerning some of the solo singing I must report misgivings. Schaunard is rusty and Colline fairly mediocre but neither role is that important. Benoit, the landlord in act I is a good comedian and the other buffo part, Alcindoro in act II, does well with what little he has to sing.
 
Of the four central characters José Carbó’s Marcello is outstanding. He has stage presence, acts very naturally and sings with great character. His Musetta, Taryn Fiebig, who is also a cellist, has the same charisma and her brilliant singing is a further asset. The South Korean Ji-Min Park as Rodolfo at first seemed too lyrical, too weak, but he has a beautiful voice, He is too intelligent to press it beyond its natural limits and the high C in Che gelida manina is wonderfully assured. He is also a very expressive actor with a face that reveals all his feelings. What a Mimi he has in Chicago-born Takesha Meshé Kizart! Their first meeting is truly touching and they act so well together throughout. She has the same expressive face. Rarely have I seen such youthful and sensitive singers as this couple. Ms Kizart’s singing is one of the glories of this performance and in the third act, in many ways the emotional summit of the opera, she is magical.
 
Readers who, like me, tend to prefer sound recordings to DVDs will have noticed that this production is being issued simultaneously in DVD and CD versions. In this particular case, though, I would recommend even the most stubborn members of the anti-DVD wing to choose the DVD. The magnificent sets, the extraordinarily good acting and interplay between the singers and sense of watching true feelings, not just theatre, is worth the extra outlay. You will probably need a sizable pile of hankies ... but don’t let that deter you from watching it.

Göran Forsling

see also review of Blu-ray release by Rob Maynard

Masterwork Index: La Bohème

Support us financially by purchasing this disc from:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


EXPLORE MUSICWEB INTERNATIONAL

Making a Donation to MusicWeb

Writing CD reviews for MWI

About MWI
Who we are, where we have come from and how we do it.

Site Map

How to find a review

How to find articles on MusicWeb
Listed in date order

Review Indexes
   By Label
      Select a label and all reviews are listed in Catalogue order
   By Masterwork
            Links from composer names (eg Sibelius) are to resource pages with links to the review indexes for the individual works as well as other resources.

Themed Review pages

Jazz reviews

 

Discographies
   Composer
      Composer surveys
   National
      Unique to MusicWeb -
a comprehensive listing of all LP and CD recordings of given works
.
Prepared by Michael Herman

The Collector’s Guide to Gramophone Company Record Labels 1898 - 1925
Howard Friedman

Book Reviews

Complete Books
We have a number of out of print complete books on-line

Interviews
With Composers, Conductors, Singers, Instumentalists and others
Includes those on the Seen and Heard site

Nostalgia

Nostalgia CD reviews

Records Of The Year
Each reviewer is given the opportunity to select the best of the releases

Monthly Best Buys
Recordings of the Month and Bargains of the Month

Comment
Arthur Butterworth Writes

An occasional column

Phil Scowcroft's Garlands
British Light Music articles

Classical blogs
A listing of Classical Music Blogs external to MusicWeb International

Reviewers Logs
What they have been listening to for pleasure

Announcements

 

Community
Bulletin Board

Give your opinions or seek answers

Reviewers
Pat and present

Helpers invited!

Resources
How Did I Miss That?

Currently suspended but there are a lot there with sound clips


Composer Resources

British Composers

British Light Music Composers

Other composers

Film Music (Archive)
Film Music on the Web (Closed in December 2006)

Programme Notes
For concert organizers

External sites
British Music Society
The BBC Proms
Orchestra Sites
Recording Companies & Retailers
Online Music
Agents & Marketing
Publishers
Other links
Newsgroups
Web News sites etc

PotPourri
A pot-pourri of articles

MW Listening Room
MW Office

Advice to Windows Vista users  
Questionnaire    
Site History  
What they say about us
What we say about us!
Where to get help on the Internet
CD orders By Special Request
Graphics archive
Currency Converter
Dictionary
Magazines
Newsfeed  
Web Ring
Translation Service

Rules for potential reviewers :-)
Do Not Go Here!
April Fools






Untitled Document


Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.