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La Boheme [Blu-ray] [2011]

Alfie Boe , David Stout , Jonathan Miller    Exempt   Blu-ray
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
Price: 25.02 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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La Boheme [Blu-ray] [2011] + Alfie - The Bring Him Home Tour Double Play (Blu-ray + DVD)
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Product details

  • Actors: Alfie Boe, David Stout, Roland Wood, Pauls Putnins, Melody Moore
  • Directors: Jonathan Miller
  • Format: Classical
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region B/2 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Warner classics and jazz
  • DVD Release Date: 26 July 2010
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003R3KIUO
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,335 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Puccini translates perfectly well into English, and to object to it is just pedantry or snobbery. This production uses a new translation (by the other Amanda Holden) instead of the one that has given good service for a century with a few minor adjustments to remove some cringe-making constructions that used to marr so many old recordings, such as Mimi's 'I know not why' in her Act 1 aria. That this translation, which is often so completely different, works equally well is an indication of just how naturally Puccini goes into English.
Apart from anything else an alternative translation makes one more attentive. The old Pinkerton version can be heard complete only on the Chandos 'Opera in English' set. When La Boheme was first performed at Covent Garden in 1892 it was the same translation which was used.
The stage production is excellent and uses what looks like an authentic early 1930s Depression setting, as large scale as any I've seen in the second act. But the main achievement is to make the relationships between the characters so believable and involving.
Alfie Boe is good though his voice is a little thin to be a great Rodolpho, but his singing/acting carries it off. Melody Moore and Hanan Alattar as Mimi and Musetta are absolutely first class.
If I had to choose any opera to introduce someone to opera it would be La Boheme and it would also be this DVD. I would only warn any prospective buyer that the Mimi we have here is not the usual Romantic one but a slightly silly old-fashioned woman (reminding me of a type of older woman still common in the 50s and 60s as survivors of the pre-war years) perhaps 10 years older than Rodopho who is likewise not the usual Romantic poet but more of a slouchy literary 'bloke', probably writing mostly prose.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning DVD, 15 Mar 2011
By Jojo
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Missed seeing La Boheme live with Alfie Boe and thought I would never get the chance but came upon this DVD. Probably better as I could only have afforded a cheap seat and there are closeups of all the singers and set. Alfie Boe has such a wonderful, clear, sweet tenor voice that the words are very easy to understand (I am a fan I have to admit). Enjoyed the performances of all the other singers, so glad ENO decided to put it out on DVD.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Alfie Boe gives an outstanding performance! 9 April 2011
By sweetp
I read a product description where it says "Alfie Boe's slightly earnest, boyish charm was through and through honest, from start to tragic finish.....the intensity and truthfulness he communicates is irresistible." This is so true. His portrayal of Rodolfo is brilliant. I don't want to give away the ending, but his final scenes are so real, so believable, and the intense emotion he is feeling pulls at your heart strings. I have never really been an opera fan before, but Alfie Boe has broadened my horizons. La Boheme is a very famous opera, and this version is special because it has Alfie Boe in it. I usually sing his praises because of his beautiful voice and his charm & wonderful personality. His performance in this play, along with his amazing performance as Jean Valjean in the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary Concert DVD, show that he is also a gifted actor. If you're an Alfie Boe fan, you HAVE to buy this DVD!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This one is up there with the best of them 1 Dec 2011
Pay no heed to the 1 star reviews. I own many recordings and videos of La Boheme and this one is up there with the best of them. Congratulations to Jonathan Miller for a production that is modern but still has that authentic feel of the original about it. The excellent sets and costumes are France circa 1930.

Amanda Holden's translation into English is extremely good. I have never been a fan of Opera that is sung in a language other than what the Composer intended, but when it is done as well as this it has changed my prejudices. Similarly, Ingmar Bergman's Magic Flute which was sung in Swedish is just wonderful.

I really liked the camera work which refrained from unnecessary close-ups. The images are clear without being overly sharp. I find it doesn't add to the performance to see the singers' sweaty pores or facial hair or spray emanating from their mouths.

I notice one reviewer complained about the de-saturation of the image, I believe this was intentional as this gives the picture a simple unadorned 1930's look.

The ENO Orchestra and Chorus were excellent. The principals were perfect in their singing and acting.

American Lyric Soprano, Melody Moore brought a different dimension to Mimi that I had never seen before. A mature woman who is not the young schemer that she is usually portrayed as; but a woman who is genuinely in love and that also understands the fleeting nature and fragility of love. I found her performance heartbreaking, her singing and phrasing were outstanding.

For me, a good performance of La Boheme will always bring a tear to my eyes and when the final bars of this performance were played; my eyes were no longer dry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Disaster 20 Aug 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
Firstly, my copy has numerous momentary breaks in the sound track. Next, although this is a Blu ray disc there is no way this was filmed in HD.
Then we have this awful colour desaturation effect, who ever thought that up should look for alternative employment. Alfie Boe is about the only character that gives this production any credence, Mimi has no resemblance to the Mimi I have loved in traditional productions of this opera. I managed to endure 58 minutes of this and then gave up.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
A very good watch.
Published 17 days ago by Dennis Simpson
5.0 out of 5 stars It's beautiful!
I'm an avid Alfie Boe fan and was thrilled to be able to hear his "operatic voice" from early in his career. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Dorothy Kight
4.0 out of 5 stars Not quite there, but full marks for trying
This updated version is set in the 1930s and the sets and costumes are appropriate. The updating however does not add anything to the story. Read more
Published 7 months ago by I. Zaneres
5.0 out of 5 stars Alfie Boe La Boheme
I have not listened to this DVD YET I just anticipate that it will be excellent and I am delighted to hear him singing some of the classical music he was trained for. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Iris Waterkeyn
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous production
I've never seen a full operatic production & only discovered opera because of Alfie Boe!! Well this is an absolutely amazing show. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ms. Karen E. Stevens
4.0 out of 5 stars Why modernise operas?
Music, singing and acting superb but, I did not like this modernised version. Mimi did not look right wearing a beret and Rudolfo using a typewriter!
Published 10 months ago by Ellen Dorothy Young
5.0 out of 5 stars La Boheme
Bought this because it has lovely Alfie Boe starring. Was not sure what to expect. Loved it and cried my eyes out at the end. Great introduction to opera.
Published 11 months ago by mammy 110158
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding
This is excellent. Deeply moving, realistic, not melodramatic - the emotion is authentic, not spoon-fed. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Jonny
5.0 out of 5 stars opera
Brilliant, performance is great, went to this years performance 2013,and enjoyed every moment. The dvd is of the first showing, and it brought everything back, a not to be missed... Read more
Published 13 months ago by mike
5.0 out of 5 stars FRENCH IN ENGLISH
It is a charming production,sung very well.The stageing is realistic and believable.a treat for opera lovers! buy it and treat yourself.
Published 16 months ago by Colonel (rtd) Don Blake
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