Tuesday, April 8, 2008

La Bohème: Loved It!

It's hard not to love La Bohème. It is, perhaps, the most perfect opera ever written.

What's so great about it? The story, for one. It's set in 1830s Paris, where Rodolfo the poet lives with three friends in a little attic in the Latin quarter. He meets Mimì one night when she comes to his apartment asking for a light for her candle. They fall in love. Of course, she dies.

What's even better? The music. Puccini created a compact (only 3.25 hours!) musical event full of some of the most memorable tunes EVER. There is nothing extraneous. Every moment is as good as the last, and there are no "boring parts." Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Le Nozze di Figaro, but it is performed with cuts for a reason...some of the music just doesn't move the story along very well, and is completely uninteresting.

The Met's performance this past Saturday was perfect. I have nothing bad to say. Here are some highlights:

About 2 minutes into the show (no overture), this family of four came into the movie theater and stood RIGHT in front of me and my husband. There were two seats open beside us, where we were motioning for the two teenagers to sit (the parents would have to find other seats). They just seemed confused. The daughter kept trying to sit on Tony's lap (repeatedly!), and the parents were, apparently, just going to stand there. So Tony and I gave away our awesome seats and ran to sit down in the front so we wouldn't miss any more of the show. Weird!

During one of the intermissions, the lovely Renèe Fleming was interviewing the two stars (Angela Gheorghiu and Ramón Vargas). She asked Ramón to tell the audience about the foundation he and his wife founded. He goes on to say that his oldest child DIED, and they have set up a foundation in his honor.

Most of us know what it is like to lose a loved one, and those of us with children of our own know what it feels like when you hear about parents losing their children.

The next act was Mimì's death, and you could just see in Vargas's eyes when he looked at Mimì, that he really understood what it meant to lose a loved one. Wow. I cried pretty hard. It was beyond touching.

NEWS!: For those of you interested in these shows, it was very recently announced that PBS will be rebroadcasting many of the Met Live in HD productions. Check your local listings! Promise me you'll watch Bohème. I guarantee you will love it!

1 comment:

femputer said...

trying to sit on his lap? lol that's odd.

I'll keep my eye out for La Boheme! It sounds like you saw an excellent performance.