I can't recommend this DVD more highly. Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazon, best described as the 'Golden Couple' soar in this film. Puccini's opera is world famous and Robert Dornhelm's cinematic cinematic take on the tragic lovers and artists is perhaps the most accessible version to date.
For those new to the world of opera, La Boheme is the most poetic and painful of dreams. Rudolfo is a writer, a bohemian in the heart of 19th century Paris. His friends Marcello, Schaunard and Colline all share a garret in the coldest of days. They get by, somehow. When Schaunard shows up with some much needed money, they decide to make an evening of it. Rudolfo lingers behind to write for a few more minutes only to meet Mimi. Her candle has gone out. She has a bad cough.
After dropping her key and losing it, the two miraculously and suddenly fall in love.
But of course, this is Puccini, the composer of verismo operas in a post-Verdi world. Traditionally operas have focused on gods, on noblemen and women, on heroes, heroines, fairy tales and historic pieces. Puccini took opera into the everyday world, the streets of Paris and here we have suffering (in this case, Mimi's TB), sorrow and poverty. The good times don't last and Rudolfo and Mimi begin to face the reality of coming death.
The cinematography is beautiful, the set design evoking both the world of the stage and the world of 19th century Paris. Netrebko shines as Mimi and Villazon's Rudolfo is both charismatic and tender. I can't imagine a better way to spend an evening - a glass of French wine and this beautiful opera.
A must for all opera lovers and enchanted beginners.