Kulturkompasset | critics of culture events

La Boheme at Wiener Staatsoper


Beczala and Opolais in La Boheme. Credits: Wiener Staatsoper / Michael Pöhn

VIENNA: The famouse Franco Zeffirelli production of Giacomo Puccini´s La Boheme in Vienna is still going strong at Wiener Staatsoper, last FridayApril 26th, it was performed for its 401´ time. Costumes by Marcel Escoffier. Conducted by Andris Nelsons.

One of my colleagues, who has followed the operaworld for 50 years commented after the La Boheme performance, that “this is the most beautiful he has ever seen”.

It is in deed a beautiful, old fashion production, That Franco Zeffirelli him self was responsible for both the Regi and scenography  make it a production well composed, where no details disturbe for the music.

Kristine Opolais was outstanding as Mimi. Credits: Wiener Staatsoper / Michael Pöhn

Two great voices in the female roles, Kristine Opolais (Latvia) as Mimi, and Anita Hartig (Romania) as Musetta together with a great Marco Caria, (Sardinia) as  Marcel gave us good singing. But I was not satisfied with the unrhytmically Piotr Beczala (Poland) as Rodolphe, who also had difficulity in the high tunes, and didn´t have the power needed, when the conductor Andris Nelsons is playing fortissimo, while this was not any problems for the female soloists. Rodolphe is a star role, and the audience expect someone extraordinary as Rodolphe. His famouse big aria “Che gelida manina” didnt becam the succes it usually is. He was at his best in the third act, where it seemed like he was feeling at home.

The Orchestra played beautiful, I had the feeling that Andris Nelsons new about the tenors difficulities, and tried to cover it by large fortissimos on the difficult places, however, it was not completely succesfully.

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