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Puccini;Giacomo La Boheme [Import]

8 customer reviews

Price: CDN$ 35.99 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Product Details

  • Format: Classical, NTSC, Import
  • Language: Italian
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: BBC / Opus Arte
  • Release Date: July 27 2010
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003LRQ0YY
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Product Description


'Breathtakingly dramatic and emotional... full to the brim with some of the best vocal talents of today... director Robert Dornhelm has not only managed to stay true to Puccini's story, but has also succeeded in adding another exciting and dynamic dimension to the opera' -- Opera Now Magazine

'chocolatey richness directly into the vein' -- The Guardian

'lavishly detailed... Dornhelm translated the opera to the screen with imaginative, occasionally arty, touches... [Villazon's] singing is glorious.' -- Sunday Times --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Flippy on Dec 15 2009
Format: DVD
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.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By captain cuttle on March 21 2010
Format: DVD
This is a perfect illustration of how a historically-accurate setting no more guarantees fidelity to the composer or librettist's intentions than an updated version violates them.

In the lengthy interview included as an extra, film-maker Robert Dornhelm underscores his adherence to Illica's libretto. Shooting entirely in Vienna with stills of 19th Century Paris, we have an opening that is strongly redolent of Illica's Christmas 1830 Latin Quarter setting. But in no time we've side-stepped to Hollywood 2010 with gimmicky cuts and back-tracks. Shots of Mimi long before she officially enters, supposedly overhearing the ruckus upstairs, do nothing to help the story. In fact they make a mockery of the simplicity of the initial exchanges between Mimi and Rodolfo
"Una donna!"
a simplicity and poignancy underlined by Puccini's music. In Dornhelm's version she's very much on the make, looking far more like Liz Taylor circa 1960 than a flower girl and the healthiest consumptive this side of the Styx.

I'm a Netrebko fan - check out my reviews of her I Puritani and Betrothal in a Monastery if you don't believe me. But here she's either totally miscast or misdirected. She tells us in her interview that previously Musetta has been her role, and that's probably where she should stay. The voice is in fine shape but the pathos just isn't there. Go to Freni or Scotto to hear how "Mi chiamano Mimi" should be performed.

Villazon, too, is in fine voice. In fact up to Mimi's entry I was quite enjoying this whole performance, Dornhelm's cinematic wizardry aside. His Rodolfo looks in far worse shape than Netrebko's Mimi. But that's perhaps not unfitting for bohemian life two hundred years ago.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By John Opera Lover on April 29 2013
Format: DVD
This film version is an excellent example of why exalted film directors who know nothing of opera should NEVER be engaged to film an opera. The other reviews have highlighted many of the faults and I will not repeat them. But Mimi's first entrance (after some clumsy cutting that presents her as a scheming seducer, instead of the innocent girl of the libretto) sets the tone for the disaster that follows. It would appear she was expecting to sing Carmen, and showed up costumed appropriately. With no time to change into something fitting the role of an emaciated malnourished grisette (read Henry Murger's original stories for the background) she looks as if she were heading for the Vienna New Year's Ball and stumbled into Rodolofo in error. The remainder of the film continues to shamble down this error-strewn path. For my money, the old Teresa Stratas - Jose Carrreras Met film is still the best video version, while the greatest Mimis on CD are still Mirella Freni or Renata Tebaldi. But its NOT essential to be Italian. I have a tape of Hei-Kyung Hong singing Mimi exquisitely in a Canadian Opera production of some years ago. The two essential elements are good singers, and a director who understands what the opera is about!
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By Michael Wong on May 4 2013
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Villazon sometimes shows the comical side and makes some Mr. Bean expressions, which I like.
Netrebko makes it quite obvious that she blows the candle out herself before knocking on Villazon's door.
The lipsyncing looks natural. The 'real' snow and environment/costume/makeup make it more convincing, except maybe the toy vendor scene which seems a bit too realistic for me.
The parrot flashback scene was funny. I like all the characters/singers in this film, especially Netrebko.
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