By Jennifer Vazquez / Reporter
NEW YORK (Nov. 11, 2010) — Giacomo Puccini’s "La Boheme" is one of the most popular operas in the world, and the Met's production, directed by the legendary Franco Zeffirelli, is still exquisite.
The Met’s 2010 staging of the classic opera is superb, with the shining star being Vittorio Grigolo, who plays Rodolfo. The Italian tenor, with his leading man good looks and his beautiful, almost effortless vocal capabilities captures the audience almost immediately.
A great delight during the production, though having a limited appearance, is Takesha Mesh Kizart, who portrays Musetta, the gold-digging ex-love of Marcello. Kizart’s performance is a perfect fit for a character that adds a bit of fun and spice into the production.
The vision and execution of the different sets are truly breathtaking. The bustling Parisian streets are brought to furtive life in the second act. And as if the senses were not sufficiently stimulated by the abundance of color, a real donkey and horse-and-carriage were brought on stage.
"La Boheme," the passionate, enduring love story centers around Rodolfo, a struggling poet, and his friends, the other bohemians — Marcello (Fabio Capitanucci), an artist, Schaunard (Edward Parks), a musician, and Colline (Shenyang), a young philosopher. Rodolfo falls madly in love with Mim, a humble seamstress, which is interpreted exceptionally by the elegant Maija Kovalevska. Though crazy about each other, Rodolfo decides to end things when Mim falls ill and he is consumed with guilt thinking that it is his fault. They decide to stay together until winter ends, because they need each other’s warmth. Once spring arrives, they have gone their separate ways, but never forgetting. However, she seeks Rodolfo once again when her health worsens. Mim heads over to Rodolfo’s apartment, is laid down in a bed, closes her eyes and silently dies. The opera ends with Rodolfo finally realizing what has occurred.
A fitting end to a superb production with a superb star at its center.
"La Boheme" is currently playing the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. Visit www.metopera.org for more information.