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  Telarc -
  SACD-60697 (2 discs)
  Puccini: La Bohème - Spano
  Puccini: La Bohème

Norah Amsellem
Marcus Haddock
Georgia Jarman
Fabio Capitanucci
Denis Sedov
Christopher Schaldenbrand
Kevin Glavin
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
Robert Spano (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Opera
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 1

Review by wehecht September 26, 2008 (16 of 16 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
What does one say about a Boheme with no superstars? How about Bravo?!!!

It's true there isn't a Freni, Moffo, or Scotto, a Bjorling, Carreras or Pavarotti in earshot. Not even a Georghiu or Alagna. The odds are that unless you are a real opera maven you've heard of no one in the cast of this production with the possible exception of the Marcello, Fabio Capitanucci. And yet this live in concert recording conducted by Robert Spano with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and a cast of young and relatively unknown singers is truly enjoyable.

Spano knows what he's about, pacing the performance beautifully and supporting his singers at every turn. The excellence of the Atlanta Symphony Chorus is virtually a given, and the orchestra not only plays well, it is recorded with great presence. Among the singers Capitanucci stands out as the most fully developed, both as to vocal quality and characterization. That is not to say that the other principals are not fine singers. They all give at least a good account of themselves but they are young, the voices not quite settled in. And in a strange way this seems to me to be the strength of this recording: these singers are simply more believable as a bunch of young bohemians struggling to survive than many of the more established stars who've come before them. If you're looking for a Boheme in which the Rodolfo matches Bjorling or Pavarotti note for note in Che gelida manina then this isn't your performance, but if you're looking for a recording that can make you believe in the characters and their plight this just might be the one.

Among the sacd competition it surpasses both the Decca and the BMG Living Stereo in terms of beauty and realism of sound (the audience is virtually inaudible except for applause at the end of acts) and taken as a whole the performance is at least the equal of those sets (though Anna Moffo remains my all time favorite Mimi). New opera recordings on sacd are not exactly plentiful, so hearty thanks to Telarc for this beauty.

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Works: 1  

Giacomo Puccini - La Bohème