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La Boheme is brilliant

PUBLISHED: 11:58 15 June 2009 | UPDATED: 17:24 16 August 2010

SUCH a well-known opera as La Boheme could leave itself wide open to criticism, but the Kentish Opera s performance last month did not disappoint, writes Pippa Hare, In a most convincingly constructed little tiny attic room there is much camaraderie betw

SUCH a well-known opera as La Boheme could leave itself wide open to criticism, but the Kentish Opera's performance last month did not disappoint, writes Pippa Hare,

In a most convincingly constructed little tiny attic room there is much camaraderie between Marcello and Rodolfo.

Despite hunger, cold and lack of money, cheerfulness prevails.

In their duet 'Questo mar Rosso' they cheerily agree to burn their own work.

David Newman did well stepping into Philip O'Brien's place as Rodolfo and the rapport between him and Mimi (Ruth Kerr) came out in their love duet 'O soave fanciulla' (lovely maid in the moonlight).

This theme recurs several times during the opera.

Although Colline (Andrew Kidd) Schaunard (Mark Saberton) have smaller parts, their voices were well-chosen and their cavorting was splendid!

Harpist Janice Bevan was a major feature of the orchestra and played beautifully although at times the music should have been played a little softer.

Carol Stevenson's costumes introduced a wonderful array of colour as Act II opened revealing the Café Momus in the Latin Quarter on Christmas Eve.

The chorus of children were a joy, clearly well-rehearsed, seemingly in control of their roles and enjoying the privilege of being part of it all.

Musetta (Rebecca Hodgetts) was excellently cast as a fickle and flirtatious young woman out for all she could get.

Her waltz song 'Quando m'en vo' (As through the streets I wander) not only brought out her lovely soprano voice but also brought back her former lover Marcello!

We hear more of Marcello (Peter Grevatt's) mellow baritone voice in the third act.

The denouement in the last Act which starts as the four young men frolic around the attic and Rodolfo, still feeling let down by Mimi, sings 'Ah Mimi, tu piu non torni' (Ah Mimi, fickle-hearted) but almost at once the atmosphere changes when Musetta brings in Mimi, now clearly dying of consumption.

The phrases 'Che gelida manina' and 'Mi chiamano Mimi' from their first love song return as laments and Mimi very gracefully and silently slips away, leaving the distraught Rodolfo desperately crying out her name.

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