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Ji-Min Park (Rodolfo), José Carbó (Marcello), David Parkin (Colline), Shane Lowrencev (Schaunard), Takesha Meshé Kizart (Mimi), Taryn Fiebig (Musetta), John Bolton Wood (Benoit), Adrian Tamburini (Alcindoro), Benjamin Rasheed (Parpignol), Malcolm Ede (Customs Sergeant), Clifford Plumpton (Customs Officer)
Opera Australia Chorus, Michael Black (Chorus Master), Australian Opera and Ballet Orchestra, Huy-Nguyen Bui (Associate Concertmaster), Shao-Chia Lü (Conductor), Gale Edwards (Director)
This sensational new production of La Boheme, the inspired concept of director Gale Edwards, is set in early 1930s Berlin, a city of liberal indulgence, glittering Spiegeltents and glitzy cabaret clubs, where no excess is considered too much. But the world of the Bohemians, romantically playing at being poor, forgets the truth of real poverty and its consequences. Charismatic Ji-Min Park gives a stunning performance as Rodolfo, the poet who falls in love with Mimi, played by Takesha Meshe Kizart, who delivers a dazzling version of the impoverished working girl. In the Cafe Momus Taryn Fiebig sings seductively as the beautiful Musetta. Renowned conductor Shao-Chia Lu draws from the orchestra and chorus a magnificent performance of Puccini's lush score.
'Director Gale Edwards has accomplished something special in setting down the young bohemians in the dying days of the Weimar Republic...Weimar's politics and style are a seamless match for Puccini's world of the Parisian demi monde...The production is a feast for the eyes. It's also a feast for the ears for those who appreciate a well-acted, as well as, well-sung opera.' (StageNoise)
'By appealing to both the traditional opera buff and a younger crowd, Gale's production of La Boheme is giving Puccini's breathtakingly beautiful score a refreshing, new appeal...It's an age-old story of romance and suffering that Gale has updated for a contemporary audience. Taking inspiration from various sources, she has given the often lavish and expensive world of opera a touch of Depression-era grunge and contemporary sex appeal.' (Broadsheet, Melbourne)
Posted by Clive - Fish Fine Music on 13th Mar 2012
A terrific release next from our National Opera Company.
The production was shown to great acclaim at the movies before Christmas 2011 and the DVD is a fine souvenir of a memorable night at the opera. There are quite a few clips online but why not try the selection of highlights in the video above.