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A Film by Robert Dornhelm
Giacomo Puccini's immortal opera in a high budget feature-film version directed by Academy Award nominee Robert Dornhelm, stars opera's 'Golden Couple', Rolando Villazón and Anna Netrebko as the protagonists, Rodolfo and Mimi. The chemistry between them is electric, unrivaled in the theatre today. Russian soprano Anna Netrebko is not only beautiful but has a marvelous voice and technique; on the other hand Mexican tenor Rolando Villazón, has a wonderful voice and an incredible charisma.
The excellent bonus features include fascinating interviews with all the key performers and the director, who confirms that he not only wanted to remain steadfastly faithful to Puccini's design but also document two of the leading singers of the modern age rather than embarking on some kind of trendy contemporary re-creation.
Paris in the 1830s. Four friends share a drafty Parisian garret. Though leading a life of privation, they are buoyed by good spirits: the writer Rodolfo, the painter Marcello, the musician Schaunard and the philosopher Colline. It is Christmas Eve, and they decide to celebrate in their favorite pub, the Cafe Momus. Rodolfo stays behind to finish an article. There is a knock at the door; their neighbor Mimi¬, whose candle has gone out, asks for fire. Rodolfo is fascinated by her. It is love at first sight!
The new lovers catch up with Rodolfo's friends at the Cafe Momus, where Marcello's former mistress Musetta turns the evening into a spirited event. The light-hearted mood of Rodolfo's and Mimi's first days together does not last, however, for Mimi¬ develops a fatal illness. Though they agree to stay together, Mimi¬ leaves her lover. Only when she is desperately ill and dying does she return to the garret where she once was so happy - and to Rodolfo, the man she still loves with all her heart...
Giacomo Puccini's immortal opera in a high budget feature-film version directed by Academy Award nominee Robert Dornhelm, starring the opera world's 'dream team', soprano Anna Netrebko and tenor Rolando Villazón.
The pairing of one of the most beloved operas of all time with one of the world's most popular operatic couples is a recipe for success. And rarely has Puccini's La Boheme had such a photogenic and engaging cast. "Director Robert Dornhelm focuses entirely on his stars Netrebko and Villazón, whose incredible presence carries the film along. There's room for big emotions, powerful voices, grand opera and tremendous cinema," writes one of Vienna's leading dailies.
While realism characterizes the set design and costumes, Dornhelm conjures up a dream-like atmosphere with mixed color and black-and-white flashbacks, evocative fades and other special effects. Yet the film is fully Netrebko's and Villazón's. Dornhelm made it clear from the start that he wanted to build a monument to the two singers. And with this five-million-euro production, he has amply achieved his goal.