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Göran Forsling
MusicWeb International, January 2013

Visually and theatrically this production is a winner.

Taiwanese conductor Shao-Chin Lü…opts for fastish tempos throughout, which I greatly prefer compared to certain maestros who drag and over-sentimentalizes a score where there is so much sentiment anyway.

Of the four central characters José Carbó’s Marcello is outstanding. He has stage presence, acts very naturally and sings with great character. His Musetta, Taryn Fiebig, who is also a cellist, has the same charisma and her brilliant singing is a further asset. The South Korean Ji-Min Park as Rodolfo…has a beautiful voice, He is too intelligent to press it beyond its natural limits and the high C in Che gelida manina is wonderfully assured. He is also a very expressive actor with a face that reveals all his feelings. What a Mimi he has in Chicago-born Takesha Meshé Kizart! Their first meeting is truly touching and they act so well together throughout. She has the same expressive face. Rarely have I seen such youthful and sensitive singers as this couple. Ms. Kizart’s singing is one of the glories of this performance and in the third act, in many ways the emotional summit of the opera, she is magical.

The magnificent sets, the extraordinarily good acting and interplay between the singers and sense of watching true feelings, not just theatre, is worth the extra outlay. © 2013 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Bill White
Fanfare, July 2012

PUCCINI, G.: Boheme (La) (Opera Australia, 2011) OPOZ56019CD
PUCCINI, G.: Boheme (La) (Opera Australia, 2011) (NTSC) OPOZ56017DVD
PUCCINI, G.: Boheme (La) (Opera Australia, 2011) (Blu-ray, HD) OPOZ56018BD

This Opera Australia production of Giacomo Puccini’s timeless La Bohème is a very good one visually, very entertaining to watch.

The energetic young cast sings very well, looks the right age, and gives an emotionally charged performance here. Young Korean tenor Ji-Min Park takes on the role of Rodolfo with charming freshness and some fine singing. American soprano Takesha Meshé Kizart, grandniece of Tina Turner and Muddy Waters…plays a very fetching and vulnerable Mimi, and is vocally secure singing Puccini’s well-loved music and emotionally compelling in the final act. The other boisterous bohemians, the Marcello of José Carbó, the Colline of David Parkin, and the Schaunard of Shane Lowrencev, all sing well and keep things lively in the first two acts. Fiebig handles her big act II showpiece with sultry vamping and a fine voice.

Recommended, then, in its video guise as a very entertaining and visually attractive production with pretty good singing. © 2012 Fanfare Read complete review



Derek Greten-Harrison
Opera News, June 2012

PUCCINI, G.: Boheme (La) (Opera Australia, 2011) (NTSC) OPOZ56017DVD
PUCCINI, G.: Boheme (La) (Opera Australia, 2011) (Blu-ray, HD) OPOZ56018BD

Set in early 1930s Berlin, director Gale Edwards’s production of La Bohème from the Sydney Opera House is an interesting and, at times, illuminating rethinking of Puccini’s most popular work. The concept is aided by Brian Thomson’s austere, minimalist sets, which anticipate the end of the Weimar Republic’s decadent café culture and the rise of the Third Reich. The focus here is clearly on the characters (i.e., no grandiose Zeffirelli-esque set pieces, though the transition to Café Momus is impressively accomplished), and the intimacy of Sydney’s small stage is well suited to this subdued treatment.

Opera Australia’s Blu-ray disc showcases the production’s inventive camerawork with a richly detailed image. © 2012 Opera News Read complete review






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