[Met Performance] CID:137500
La Bohème {373} Matinee ed. Boston Opera House, Boston, Massachusetts: 04/12/1944.

(Review)


Boston, Massachusetts
April 12, 1944 Matinee


LA BOHÈME {373}

Mimì....................Jarmila Novotna
Rodolfo.................Nino Martini
Musetta.................Christina Carroll
Marcello................Frank Valentino
Schaunard...............George Cehanovsky
Colline.................Virgilio Lazzari
Benoit..................Gerhard Pechner
Alcindoro...............Louis D'Angelo
Parpignol...............Lodovico Oliviero
Sergeant................Carlo Coscia [Last performance]

Conductor...............Cesare Sodero

Review signed E. L. H. in the Boston Herald

"La Bohème"

Fashions in opera may come and go, but it is easy to see why Puccini's "La Bohème" continues unaltered in popularity, and when the performance is as generally pleasing as was yesterday's afternoon production at the Opera House, it seems reasonable to suppose that it will continue in operatic repertoire forever. The gay humor, frank sentiment and pathos of the Murger story, combined with Puccini's lovely vocal and orchestral score, make it more alive today than more pretentious and spectacular works.

The outstanding pleasure of yesterday's matinee was unquestionably afforded by Nino Martini as Rodolfo, a performance of great vocal beauty and agreeable acting quality. The singer's voice has never sounded richer and his vocalization had power, ease and purity of tone; he was excellent throughout but his work was especially fine in the first act aria and the duet of the third act. He has good presence and met the demands of his role with a minimum of conventional operatic gesture and pose.

Jarmila Novotna's Mimi is conceived with simplicity, charm and a gentle pathos that are most appealing, her acting is entirely convincing and she is exceptionally attractive to look at. Vocally, she does her best work in the middle register and when not called upon to sing too high or too loud, for her voice at such times has a thin, even an edgey quality. There was a new Musetta yesterday, Christina Carroll, a cheerful, rather bouncy young soprano with a high, true voice and a sense of comedy bordering on the farcical, and Francesco Valentino's Marcello was well and feelingly sung and pleasantly played. The minor parts were nicely handled, with special praise for Virgilio Lazzari's singing of Colline's farewell to his coat, the stage direction was reasonably good and Cesare Sodero's conducting was correct if uninspired. A capacity house was generous with applause.



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