The Royal Opera, Covent Garden. Puccini's tragic love story is set in the Latin Quarter of Paris among the bohemian students whose hectic gaiety only partially masks the despair and pain that threaten their lives. It remains one of the most popular of all operas with its stark contrasts of lively humour and poignant tragedy. This recording of the well-known Covent Garden production by John Copley, in Julia Trevelyan Oman's authentic settings, stars Romanian soprano Ileana Cotrubas and American tenor Neil Shicoff as Mimì and Rodolfo, whose tender love affair is doomed from the start. "It is only when one sees and hears a performance so truthful and genuinely musical as that...at Covent Garden under Lamberto Gardelli's secure and loving direction, that the wonder of the score's unerringly poised structure is fully realised" DAILY TELEGRAPH Of Ileana Cotrubas: "...just the right voice for this role. There is a touch of ineffable sadness to her singing - it is singing with, as it were, tears on it" THE LISTENER Of Neil Shicoff: "...his Rodolfo was much more than a mere tenor. One could believe in him as a sensitive writer in a wretched environment, showing Mimì his work, involved with her, undergoing ecstasy, torment and grief as a real person" THE STAGE Music by Giacomo Puccini, Mimì: Ileana Cotrubas, Rodolfo: Neil Shicoff, Marcello: Thomas Allen, Musetta: Marilyn Zschau, Colline: Gwynne Howell. With The Royal Opera Chorus and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House; Conductor Lamberto Gardelli. Program language: Italian with Subtitles in English / French / German / Italian / Portuguese / Spanish / Japanese.
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