La Bohème at the Met

Ramon Vargas La Boheme

Ramón Vargas as Rodolfo. Photo: ©Marty Sohl/Metropolitan Opera

For all the struggle and tragedy in La Bohème composed by Giacomo Puccini, the Metropolitan Opera‘s production by Franco Zeffirelli was emotional yet light and filled with comedy.

I really felt like I was in Paris, suffering with the likes of Rodolfo (Ramón Vargas), Mimi (Maija Kovalevska), and Marcello (Peter Mattei) without feeling sorry for them. The sweet melodies and ambient lighting left me drifting in my thoughts about the current state of the arts (read this for fodder). I could not help but think how much the impressive sets and costumes must have cost and how they were able to pay the 100 people who showed up on stage in Act II. Not to mention the world class orchestra and the countless staff. And then I looked around the lavish opera house and realized that I was sitting in a packed house filled with wealthy people with their Chanel bags, pavé earrings, and fur coats who had most likely paid a pretty penny for their seats. Just think of the irony in the amount of money that was spent to make an opera about impoverished artists. Amazing.

All in all, I must say that it was nice to see a piece of work that was perfectly lavish without being overdone. The music, the singing and the atmosphere were spot-on.

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1 Comment

Filed under Art, Opera

One response to “La Bohème at the Met

  1. The final act was my favorite, as it was the most emotionally charged. But you’re right, I didn’t connect with the characters, either. I didn’t feel empathetic for their circumstances, and I didn’t even relate to Mimi, which I expected I would.

    My favorite character was Musetta. She was beautiful and entertaining. The actress was from Alabama, too! A little southern charm at the opera – so delightful!

    I would have preferred to feel more connected, as that’s what art should do to you.

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