'La Boheme' transformed in 2012 stagings on DVD

Published on NewsOK Modified: December 27, 2012 at 1:51 pm •  Published: December 27, 2012
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"La Boheme" had never appeared at the Salzburg Festival until last summer's contemporary staging on the wide stage of the Grosses Festspielhaus, which featured a starry cast headed by Anna Netrebko (Mimi) and Piotr Beczala (Rodolfo), the Vienna Philharmonic and conductor Daniele Gatti.

Michieletto's wackiest idea was to set the second act filled with cart-pushing Christmas Eve shoppers on what appears to be a Google map of Paris' Latin Quarter created by set designer Paolo Fantin. His best was to set the third act by a snow-filled highway off ramp with a food truck as sanitation workers went about their business and end-of-night partygoers walked by.

Rodolfo is a filmmaker whose garret has a high glass wall that allows an unseen person to write "Mimi" in huge letters with a finger on the condensation. Mimi wears a black leather jacket, has a blue streak in her hair and tattoos on her neck and the inside of her left forearm. Parpignol is an acrobat in a superhero suit.

Netrebko's plush soprano thrills, as does Beczala's ringing tenor, and Nino Machaidze (Musetta) and Massimo Cavalletti (Marcello) combine for a top-level ensemble. Even those not thrilled by staging will be entertained by the singing.

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Follow Ron Blum on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ronaldblum


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