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BBC Music Magazine, March 2018

PUCCINI, G.: Bohème (La) [Opera] (Teatro Regio Torino, 2016) (NTSC) 742608
PUCCINI, G.: Bohème (La) [Opera] (Teatro Regio Torino, 2016) (Blu-ray, HD) 742704

The voices could be more beautiful but it’s hard to think of a modern-dress production of La bohème that more perfectly captures the rhythm of the city in Puccini’s youthful Parisian romance. © 2018 BBC Music Magazine



Jonathan Pell
Opera News, March 2018

All the male characters are dressed in jeans and sweatshirts or hoodies, and the acting style is naturalistic.

The real star of this production is South African soprano Kelebogile Besong, who is a glamorous, sensuous Musetta, with a distinctive dark, mezzo-like timbre that contrasted nicely with Lungu’s Mimì. She first came to critical attention in the Cardiff Singer of the World and Belvedere competitions; now she has engagements in major theaters throughout Europe. She is definitely a singer to watch—and to hear.

The Teatro Regio’s esteemed music director, Gianandrea Noseda, conducts a thoroughly Italianate and theatrical performance, with well judged tempos that were neither rushed nor indulgent, and he keeps the drama moving along nicely. The orchestra plays as if its members had this music in their DNA—which, no doubt, many of them do. © 2018 Opera News Read complete review



Richard Sininger
American Record Guide, January 2018

The only familiar name in the top six is the baritone Massimo Cavalletti, who seems to sing Marcello all over Europe (and the Met). Most of the other singers are his equals. Irina Lungu is a very attractive, creamy-voiced Mimi. Kelebogile Besong is a vibrant, sexy Musetta. The Schaunard and Colline are in the capable hands of Benjamin Cho and Gabriele Sagona, two names new to me but certainly worth hearing again.

The veteran conductor Gianandrea Noseda leads a well-paced performance. This is a very good Boheme for anyone who wants a lively, youthful production. © 2018 American Record Guide Read complete review on American Record Guide



Hugo Shirley
Gramophone, December 2017

PUCCINI, G.: Bohème (La) [Opera] (Teatro Regio Torino, 2016) (NTSC) 742608
PUCCINI, G.: Bohème (La) [Opera] (Teatro Regio Torino, 2016) (Blu-ray, HD) 742704

…[disc] features an eminently likeable cast. Neither Irina Lungu’s Mimì nor Giorgio Berrugi’s Rodolfo is vocally ideal…but they make a plausible, sympathetic couple. Massimo Cavalletti is a sincere, touching Marcello, and Kelebogile Besong a deliciously over-the-top Musetta, as the staging demands. Benjamin Cho’s Schaunard and Gabriele Sagona as Colline complete the Bohemian quartet well, and the children’s chorus, in particular, is full of life.

The orchestral playing, favoured by the sound balance, is of very high quality. All told, this is a touching and recommendable modern-dress Bohème. © 2017 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone



Robert J. Farr
MusicWeb International, November 2017

All the principles act their parts well to create a meaningful narrative that keeps, as much as modernisation allows, our minds on the original story and its tear-jerking tragic end. …The great opening act, with Rodolfo finding Mimì’s hand frozen and warming her heart with his ardour, is particularly well sung and vocally nuanced by Giorgio Berrugi’s tasteful and elegant singing as Rodolfo whilst Mimi’s response, and their subsequent duet, indicates Irina Lungu to be a lyric soprano of some substance and a name to look out for. Massimo Cavalletti sings and acts well as Marcello, dealing with Musetta’s volatile temperament well alongside his compassion for Mimì, who turns to him in her hour of desperate need. As the temperamental temptress Musetta, South African soprano Kelebogile Besong acts the part to near perfection and accommodates the wide-ranging vocal demand well. Her portrayal in the Cafè Momus scene is outstanding, while she portrays the role’s caring side in act four with poignancy.

Gianandrea Noseda conducts with his usual distinction in this, his debut in the opera, drawing vibrant, full-bodied tone from his charges. In time he will bring more emotion to Puccini’s tear-jerking musical interpretation of Murger’s story, particularly if he has a more sympathetic staging with which to frame his skills. © 2017 MusicWeb International Read complete review



Lark Reviews, September 2017

Of the singers, Kelebogile Besong’s Musetta and Massimo Cavalletti’s Marcello are the strongest both dramatically and vocally. …Gianandrea Noseda’s handling of the score is polished and well-paced. © 2017 Lark Reviews Read complete review





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