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<<<  <<  -- 3 --  Maria Nockin    ARTFUL PHRASING

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Italian tenor Massimo Giordano proved to be a suave actor who sang with a robust lyric voice, beautiful diction and considerable variation of dynamics. He made an excellent Rodolfo and a strong, experienced partner for débuting 2006 Operalia winner, Latvian soprano Maija Kovalevska, whose radiant silvery tones combined emotional intensity with artful phrasing. Giordano's fellow countryman, Luca Salsi, shared his penchant for exact diction, and was an energetic Marcello who sang with a ringing sound. Brian Leerhuber was an unusually bright voiced Schaunard who gave a finely detailed portrayal of his role.

Christian Van Horn, Brian Mulligan, Virginia Tola, Arturo Chacón-Cruz and Hung Yun in 'La bohème' at Los Angeles Opera. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard
Christian Van Horn, Brian Mulligan, Virginia Tola, Arturo Chacón-Cruz and Hung Yun in 'La bohème' at Los Angeles Opera. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard

Laquita Mitchell underplayed Musetta, but her tones were as sweet as honey. A thoughtful Colline, Oren Gradus gave a vivid portrayal of the philosopher, combining fine singing with dramatic sensitivity. Playing two very different parts, Benoit the landlord and Musetta's sugar daddy, Alcindoro, dark voiced Philip Cocorinos showed his versatility and excellent stagecraft. Robert MacNeil was an amusing Parpignol. Both the adult chorus, directed by Grant Gershon, and the children's chorus, led by Anne Tomlinson, were effective in the scene outside the Café Momus. Conductor Hartmut Haenchen drew elegant romantic sounds from the orchestra as he captured the soul of Puccini's masterpiece.

Laquita Mitchell as Musetta and Philip Cocorinos as Alcindoro. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard
Laquita Mitchell as Musetta and Philip Cocorinos as Alcindoro. Photo © 2007 Robert Millard

La bohème can be seen several more times at LA Opera with two definitive casts, the one reviewed here and another, starring Operalia winners Virginia Tola and Arturo Chacon-Cruz, conducted by Plácido Domingo.

Copyright © 9 December 2007 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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LOS ANGELES OPERA

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