Saturday, April 05, 2014

La Bohème in HD

Conductor: Stefano Ranzani
Production: Franco Zeffirelli

Marcello: Massimo Cavalletti
Rodolfo: Vittorio Grigolo
Colline: Oren Gradus
Schaunard: Patrick Carfizzi
Benoit: Donald Maxwell
Mimì: Kristine Opolais replacing Anita Hartig who was ill
Alcindoro: Donald Maxwell
Musetta:  Susanna Phillips

This morning we saw Puccini's La Bohème live in HD from the Metropolitan Opera.  This was my first time to see Vittorio Grigolo and Kristine Opolais in performance in an opera.  I came for Vittorio but Kristine was an added bonus.  She sang Butterfly last night and received the call to sing Mimi at 8:00 this morning.  So how does a completely stressed out Mimi seem to work?  Pretty well I would have to say.  You believed she was dying of consumption right from the start.

Short version:  I cried in all three acts, a first.  Vittorio was wonderful.  The emotional atmosphere was perfect from beginning to end.  Mimi died on her chord in fine style.  What more could you ask?  Kudos to all.

I want to point out that few of the regulars I see week after week were there, but the size of the audience was much bigger than usual.  Someone representing the Met handed out questionnaires to survey the audience.

And now for my usual post script.  I have been following Vittorio Grigolo for quite some time, and have already included him in my sexiest list.  I have noticed a tendency to put him down, and I want to go on record opposing this.  Compared to the short performances I have witnessed earlier, his Rodolfo showed a complete technical maturity.  You can't really judge a singer until they reach this.  I think with his good looks, bright lyric tenor and charisma he is a worthy addition to our pantheon.

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