La Bohème comes around again

Today, April 5 at 1:30 on your affiliated NPR station; or you may be able to watch it live in HD at a nearby theatre: check it out here.

Ainhoa Arteta of last year’s fame returns; the rest of the cast looks different, except perhaps the ubiquitous Paul Plishka.

2 thoughts on “La Bohème comes around again

  1. This was one of the best productions of Bohème I have heard. Angela Gheorghiu as Mimi sang quite beautifully — a bit throaty in the lower register, but this could have been used to advantage if my usual complaint of too much vibrato could be remedied, especially in the girlish stage-setting opening lines of Mi chiamano Mimi. Ramón Vargas as Rodolfo sang very excellently. As last year, Ainhoa Arteta as Musetta was clear and controlled. Her comedic antics stopped just short of going too far.

    The conductor Nicola Luisotti gets the gold medal though for an unbelievably evocative orchestral direction. Sometimes the whole score seemed to come to a stop, dangling by a single tonal thread. Strings, winds and harps became as if electrified by his baton. I’d like him to do a CD. With the right cast, there might finally be a competitor to the great Thomas Beecham recording.

  2. Poor Plishka. He has been passed over time and again in his bid to be ‘Basso #1’ during his time at the Met.

    I remember a joke about Boris Godunov that was making the rounds when I was an undergraduate, when someone wanted to assign the minor bass role in an opera that went something like this:

    “How can I be Grishka, when I am Paul PLISHKA!?”

    His Don Carlos Philip/Inquisitor duet on YouTube with Jerry Hines is spine-tingling.

    But to reduce him to Alcindoro and Benoit. What a shame….

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