9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Puccini: La Boheme (La Boheme: Royal Opera 2009) [DVD]  [NTSC] (DVD)
The opening set is on two levels, it is very good with a stairway connecting the two levels. The artists work area on top and seating below.
Rodolfo and Marcello portrayed by Ilincai and Viviana respectively have very good voices and are completely credible in their characters. Smoriginas and Imbrailo as philosopher and musician are likewise excellent in voice and character.
After the three have left and Rodolfo is alone Hibla Gerzmava arrives as a delightfully voiced Mimi, and it is obvious that their is a magic spark between these two artistes. Their duet as they leave for the cafe is absolute magic.
Act two is a very lively street scene and as the crowd thin out the cafe is revealed, it is well presented. When Inna Dukach arrives as Musetta she shows how this role should be played, her singing and acting is perfection. She is not even upstaged by the dog. Her waltz song is absolute magic.
Act three has suitably bleak gates to the city on a wintry day. The smokey guards hut is a master-stroke. There is a dimly lit cafe through which Musetta and friends can be just seen.
The outpourings of the main characters are very moving and Gerzmava produces some thrilling sounds.
In act four we are back in the studio, it is spring and the world is brighter, but our heroes are still impoverished. Marcello and Rodolfo are having creational problems and sing about it most pleasingly. They are joined by the other two and celebrate their meagre rations most amusingly.
The jollity is interrupted by Musetta leading a very poorly Mimi. All do what they can but eventually leave Rodolfo and Mimi who are absorbed in each other in a most engaging way.
As the others return and Mimi dies the excellent cast move me to tears, this does not happen often. Bravo!