Last night's La Boheme in Hamburg
This Boheme (Angela Gheorghiu / Giuseppe Filianoti / Katerina Tretyakova / George Petean / Adrian Sampetrean / Moritz Gogg) was totally different from what I have seen before. It was a modern, German production visually appealing and mind cathcing. Just because a director thought of bringing the story to present days, la bianca cameretta is a studio in a block of flats where each opening door reveals the staircase. In the first act you could see nine studios displayed in a square. The one in the center belongs to the boys, the one above to Mimi and the in cent right to the landlord. A landlord who peeks into the boys studio through a small hole in thr wall. The other studios are inhabited by various people, one old lady preparing a Christmas basket, one man drinking a beer. It's the first time when I see Christmas trees included in the production. There were several in the small studios. The one in the boy's studio is in fact a drawing on the wall. Funny :)
A very good thing was that the action in the first act takes place at the first floor, so everybody in the venue can see everything perfectly. The same happens in the last act. Getting back to act one, when Mimi and Rodolfo sing their duet, at some point the part of thr stage with the studios goes down till Mimi's room reaches the eye level(remember that it was at the second floor). The little white room is coquettish, with lots of teddy bears spread around. When the aria finishes, they leave the stage while the building behind them totally disappears under the stage. To make place to Momus. I think it's the first time when the directir thinks if showing us what happens around the protagonists. And it wasn't bad at all.
Momus is a bar with waiters dressed in pink. Musetta sings her valse on the bar while undressing. Interesting approach...
In the beginning of act 3 the men are janitors and the ladys are...half-clothed. The heart and arrow neon sign on the wall of the building the ladies come out frim gives a vague idea of what happens inside.
The fourth act brings us back to the building in the first act, only that this time it's deserted. There's nobody living there anymore. There just a mattress left in the studio in the center. The only thing that didn't match the rest of the sets/props was the muff Musetta brings. It's not a 20th century item. Probably you could still find one, but not if you're as poor as they were. But this is just a small detail.
Simone Young led the orchestra very well. From where i set i turnd my had many times to watch her on one of the monitors in the venue. Sorry to the gentleman that thought i was looking at him. Only that his head was in between my eyes and the monitor :) Mrs Young was totally dedicated to what she was doing and her gestures, her face, her singing with those on stage showed that.
My second Boheme this year ended with standing ovations. And some boos (agsin) for the conductor. Not deserved. The producton was way more interesting than the one in Barcelona, but this time the tenor's voice didn't make me feel confortable several times. Lots of struggling for high notes which gave a feeling of insecurity, musically speaking. At this point i could say that i would prefer the steady tenor voice i heard in Barcelona (with less acting) than lots of acting but unsteady voice. My opinion. Of course, having both acting and voice would make Rodolfo great.
So I focused on Mimi's voice. And that made the evening perfect!
To completethe picture, check out a video recording posted on youtube today.
Some more pictures coming up tomorrow.