[Met Performance] CID:271370
La Bohème {843} Metropolitan Opera House: 01/24/1983.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
January 24, 1983


LA BOHÈME {843}
Puccini-Illica/Giacosa

Mimì....................Teresa Zylis-Gara
Rodolfo.................Vasile Moldoveanu
Musetta.................Carol Neblett
Marcello................Brent Ellis
Schaunard...............Allan Monk
Colline.................Paul Plishka
Benoit..................Italo Tajo
Alcindoro...............Italo Tajo
Parpignol...............Dale Caldwell
Sergeant................Domenico Simeone
Officer.................Herman Marcus

Conductor...............James Levine

Production..............Franco Zeffirelli
Stage Director..........David Kneuss
Set designer............Franco Zeffirelli
Costume designer........Peter J. Hall
Lighting designer.......Gil Wechsler

La Bohème received twenty-seven performances this season.

Review of Robert Kimball in the Post

'Beautiful 'Bohème' at the Met

Franco Zeffirelli's thrilling, realistic, wonderfully animated, densely populated and richly detailed production of Puccini's achingly beautiful "La Bohème" returned to the Metropolitan Opera the other night. Zeffirelli's staging caused a sensation when it was first mounted by the Met last season. It is good to have it back, as it is a terrific presentation which reaches heights of Ziegfeldian grandeur when 300 people fill the stage during Act II's Cafe Momus Scene in the Latin Quarter.

The lights, building, street vendors, children, soldiers and night life patrons of Act II are such an awesome display of humanity that they alone are worth a visit to this production. There will be 12 more chances to see the Met's "La Bohème" this season before its final performance on March 12. James Levine, who conducted the [premiere] with his familiar dash and brio, and pinpoint control, will be sharing the podium with Eugene Kohn.

In the first act Christmas Eve in the garret - there was fine ensemble work by the young Bohemians - Brent Ellis (Marcello), Vasile Moldoveanu (Rodolfo). Paul Plishka (Colline) and Allan Monk (Schaunard), which they maintained throughout the opera. When Teresa Zylis-Gara (Mimi) and Moldoveanu held the stage they were asked to display so much physical activity that it distracted from the outpouring of passion. They were not helped by the location of the garret set which is so high and far from the audience that intimate moments too often become remote.

Moldoveanu was a poetic, sensitive Rodolfo who could be less restrained in his mime. His singing, a little tight and rough on top, needed more ardor and lyricism. Miss Zylis-Gara was too understated and monochromatic in her declamation, and her role was somewhat tentatively, although often attractively and limpidly, voiced.

Carol Neblett sang her first Met Musette. Miss Neblett is a superior actress, but the fabled, treacherously difficult Musetta's Waltz should be taken a shade slower and sung more delicately. After devouring scenery and tablecloths in her flamboyant Act II theatrics, she made an uncommonly moving transformation in Act IV where she showed tenderness and compassion for her doomed friends and fitted in felicitously with the Bohemians. The Act III setting with the snow lightly falling on the outskirts of Paris is yet another highlight.



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