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<<  -- 2 --  Maria Nockin    INFECTIOUS VERVE

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On 1 November 2006, Teatro Lirico D'Europa presented La bohème at the Opera House in Claremont, New Hampshire. The seven hundred seat Italian Renaissance Revival theater, which is on the US National Register of Historic Places, was built in 1897, one year after the opera's première. In 1979, the auditorium was remodeled in a manner that retained its antique beauty while adding modern necessities.

Mimi (Elena Razgylyaeva) and Rodolfo (Gabriel Gonzalez) in Act I of 'La bohème'. Photo © 2006 Robin Grant
Mimi (Elena Razgylyaeva) and Rodolfo (Gabriel Gonzalez) in Act I of 'La bohème'. Photo © 2006 Robin Grant

When the first act curtain opened on the bohemians' unheated garret, Rodolfo, sung by Gabriel Gonzalez, and Marcello, James Bobick, were shivering with the cold. The scene established the tone of the performance: a combination of beautiful singing and excellent acting. The tall lanky Bobick had a sonorous baritone and a devil-may-care air while Gonzalez was an attentive lover with an Italianate sound and a serious side to his personality. His voice combined wonderfully well with the silvery tones of the Mimi, Elena Razgylyaeva, and they ended Act I with a thrilling duet.

Musetta (Larissa Yudina) in Act II of 'La bohème'. Photo © 2006 Robin Grant
Musetta (Larissa Yudina) in Act II of 'La bohème'. Photo © 2006 Robin Grant

Baritone Hristo Sarafov is a consummate character actor as well as a splendid singer. He was an amusing landlord in the first scene and, in the second, an abused 'sugar daddy' who was spellbound by Musetta's charms. Act II belongs to Musetta and Larissa Yudina made the most of her opportunity. She lit up the stage with her charisma, as she sang about the way passers-by looked at her on the street. A captivating long haired blonde, she was a devastating coquette as she sang with floods of radiant, lustrous sound.

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Copyright © 12 November 2006 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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