Monday, November 30, 2020

La Boheme from Munich


Conductor Asher Fisch
Production Otto Schenk 

Mimì Rachel Willis-Sørensen 
Musetta Mirjam Mesak 
Rodolfo Jonas Kaufmann 
Marcello Andrei Zhilikhovsky 
Schaunard Sean Michael Plumb 
Colline Tareq Nazmi 
Parpignol Andres Agudelo 
Benoît Christian Rieg
 
La Boheme is streaming live from the Bayerische  Staatsoper just to make me happy.  And it is succeeding.  This is fabulous. I hardly know what to say.  The waiter in Cafe Momas is wearing a mask.  This is the opera for our time.  This is the performance for our time.  Thank you.

The quality of complete ensemble is rare in all music, but rarer still in opera.  It's as though they had been together all their lives.  I am moved more by love and kindness than by cruelty.

The production is truly perfect.  All is as it should be.  My favorite Boheme.

Footnote.  This was a performance without an audience.  The usually crowded Momas scene had only the identified characters in the cast.  In a scene where usually one hardly notices that Mimi has any lines, we have a fully realized conversation.  She comments revealingly to Rodolfo about his friends.

The entire performance was played for the cameras.  I read social media, and people complain loudly that a singer might be performing for the camera.  So here everyone is singing to the camera.  The audience is in the closeups and not the back row of the balcony.  The intimacy of every word, every line, brought the opera to life.  I loved them all separately and together.

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