Director Robert Dornhelm made a film of La bohème based on the 2008 recording featuring superstars Anna Netrebko and Rolando Villazón, and this disc includes highlights from the soundtrack. It would be easy to approach the much-hyped project with a certain amount of skepticism, but the result fully lives up to the high expectations that it promised. The whole enterprise sounds so youthful and impetuous that it makes it possible to hear the opera in a new way. Puccini, of course, wrote the youthful impetuosity into the score, but it has rarely felt so authentically spontaneous and artless. The fact that the principals are in fact young, with young-sounding voices, is an important part of the CD's effectiveness. Also essential is Bertand de Billy's vibrant conducting. The excerpts from the end of act one beautifully underscore the intimacy that develops between Rodolfo and Mimì, and de Billy gives free rein to Puccini's lyrical outpouring. The four principals are extraordinarily fine. From Villazón's...
Album: La Boheme / Puccini,Netrebko,Villazon, De Billy
La BohŠme: Act 1. Non sono in vena. Chi Š l…? / Scusi
La BohŠme: Act 1. Che gelida manina
La BohŠme: Act 1. S. Mi chiamano Mim
La BohŠme: Act 1. O soave fanciulla
La BohŠme: Act 2. La commedia Š stupenda! / Quando men vo
La BohŠme: Act 3. D'onde lieta usc
La BohŠme: Act 3. Dunque Š proprio finita!
La BohŠme: Act 4. In un coup‚? / O Mim, tu piu non torni