La Boheme

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 October, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 October, 2010, 12:00am

La Boheme
Opera Hong Kong
HK Cultural Centre Grand Theatre
Reviewed: Oct 8

Puccini's La Boheme is one of the world's best-loved operas. Four impoverished young artists share a garret in Paris. One winter's night their neighbour, the beautiful but fragile Mimi, visits and she and the poet Rodolfo fall in love. Happiness turns to despair when Rodolfo realises she is dying of tuberculosis and he cannot take care of her. Mimi leaves him for a wealthy nobleman but returns to the garret to die surrounded by those who love her.

Director Maurizio di Mattia brings out the different aspects of this masterpiece in an atmospheric co-production by Opera Hong Kong and Teatro dell'Opera di Roma.

With imaginative sets by Maurizio Varama and strong ensemble acting, this is a production to savour. The standard of singing was high and the score well served by the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra under Gianluca Martinenghi.

As Mimi and Rodolfo, Sabina Cvilak and Jesus Garcia were convincing. Cvilak's soaring soprano suited Puccini's phrasing. Garcia lacked vocal power, but his phrasing and pitch were impeccable. Marcin Bronikowski was an outstanding Marcello. Silvia Dalla Benetta was both lively and touching as Musetta.

The production will be broadcast on RTHK Radio 4 on Oct 16 and on TVB Pearl on Oct 23.