ISRAELI OPERA’S ‘La Boheme.’.
(photo credit: YOSSI ZWECKER)
Puccini’s tearjerker, his opera La Boheme, performed by the Israeli Opera, profited from Stefano Mazzonis di Fralafera’s direction and Carlo Sala’s sets, that were original without gliding into artificial tasteless modernism.
Crowd scenes were lively and amusing, and theatricality and sticky sentimentality were mercifully abstained from in Mimi’s Dying Scene.
The four Bohemians harmonized with each other in singing and acting in Act I, without anyone attempting to outdo the other.
As Rudolfo, Alexey Dolgov was an enthusiastic lover whose radiant tenor and ability to hold a high note long enough to let its impression sink in made one understand why Mimi fell in love with him at first sight – so soon, in fact, as can happen only in a Puccini opera.
In the role of Mimi, the not yet very well known Noa Danon was a pleasant surprise with her bright, delicate soprano, too strong and assertive only in her Dying Scene – more than one can expect of a dying consumptive. Hilla Baggio, as Musetta, concentrated on displaying her brilliant, lovely soprano, but at the expense of expressing this character’s coquettish, femme fatale-like naughtiness in Act II. In the final scene she then became a compassionate, warm-hearted friend. However, when there are two sopranos in one opera, it is recommendable to have two singers with different tone colors that might suggest their difference of character.
Schaunard’s Addio aria, in Mimi’s Dying Scene, was movingly rendered by Ionut Pascu’s sonorous baritone.
Conducted by Francesco Cliluffo, the Symphony Orchestra Rishon LeZion contributed forceful drama and sensitive support for the singers’ intentions.