[Met Performance] CID:170760

La Bohème
Metropolitan Opera House, Mon, January 30, 1956

La Bohème received nine performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of Francis D. Perkins in the Herald Tribune

'La Bohème' Sung at the Met as Season Enters Second Half

The Metropolitan Opera, entering the second half of its season, gave its first 1955-'56 performance of Puccini's "La Bohème" Monday night for a house sold out in advance. All the members of a cast headed by Lucine Amara as Mimi and Giuseppe Campora as Rodolfo, had sung their roles before in the current production by Joseph L. Mankiewicz, first staged here three winters ago, but there was a change from last season in the starting hour, 8 o'clock instead of the previous 8:30.

The reasons why "La Bohème" remains in the forefront of operatic popularity need little retelling; Puccini's melodic inventiveness is matched by his projection of emotion and atmosphere; the music, with continuing freshness, evokes the time, place and the story; the story is in one way of its period, but in another limited to no particular decade.

The resources of the music were revealed, if not to the utmost extent, in a performance which could be described as meritorious while not unusually memorable. Miss Amara's Mimi was dramatically superior; there was persuasive animation and pathos, and the character had a positive personality. Expressiveness also marked her singing, with notable poignance in the third act. It had marked vocal color, but there was an inauspicious touch of hardness of tone in some of her strong top notes, suggesting a search for power beyond the range of tonal prudence.

Mr. Campora's prevailing quality of tone was warm and pleasing, with a few slight departures from his best vocal form; a few top notes in the first act seemed slightly over stressed in a generally convincing impersonation.

Jean Fenn was a vivacious Musetta; her singing in the second act had color, but also the somewhat strident and unfocused tones often associated with the role.

Frank Guarrera was in good voice as Marcello; Clifford Harvuot and Norman Scott sang Schaunard and Colline, with Messrs. Davidson, McCracken, Alvary and Marsh completing the cast. The musical interpretation under Fausto Cleva often realized the vitality of the music.

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