Monday, May 25, 2009

La Bohème, Bayerische Staatsoper, München 24. Mai 2009

La Bohème
Giacomo Puccini
Giuseppe Giacosa und Luigi Illica

Nationaltheater, München
Sonntag, 24. Mai 2009

Musikalische Leitung Daniele Callegari
Inszenierung Otto Schenk
Bühne und Kostüme Rudolf Heinrich
Chöre Andrés Máspero

Mimi Anna Netrebko
Musetta Jessica Muirhead
Rodolfo Joseph Calleja
Marcello Nikolay Borchev
Schaunard Christian Rieger
Colline John Relyea
Parpignol Ho-Chul Lee
Benoît Alfred Kuhn
Alcindoro Rüdiger Trebes
Ein Zöllner Christopher Magiera
Sergeant der Zollwache Igor Bakan

Bayerisches Staatsorchester
Chor der Bayerischen Staatsoper

La Bohème - Synopsis

Personal Review
This last sunday I was in München to attend the first of a run of three sold-out performances of Puccini's La Bohème. The expectations were great and it was a truly good reason for that. Anna Netrebko was back on the stage at the Bayerische Staatsoper after giving birth to her son Tiago on 5. September 2008. People with the usual "Suche Karte" cards were around the main entrance of the National Theater looking for a chance to get a ticket. Everything around gaves the impression that this performance would be a wonderful unique experience. And we were not wrong. It really was.

The cast for this Bohème was great. Anna Netrebko as Mimi was partenered by Joseph Calleja as Rodolfo. They had been singing together in La Traviata in Wien just a few days ago, getting spectacular reviews. Nikolay Borchev was Marcello, Jessica Muirhead was Musetta, Christian Rieger was Schaunard and John Relyea was Colline. On the pitch Daniele Callegari conducting the Orchestra and Chorus of the Bayerische Staatsoper. The production was a classical one signed by Otto Schenk.

Anna Netrebko was just stunning, portraying a charming, romantic, shy, naive and moving Mimi. Robert Braunmüller wrote for the Abendzeitung "Anna Netrebko is simply the best Mimi, if not the only one at all. She personifys the charm and naivety and eroticism of this character and does not in the least appear artificial". He's absolutely right. She got a great presence on the stage, with a stunning powerful voice in the higher notes and breathtaking pianisimos.

Joseph Calleja has a very beautiful voice and he was in great form. Robert Braunmüler wrote for the Abendzeitung "He sang the very first bars so brilliant as if it was a matter of life and death". This one is his favorite opera and he recognized that he was in tears at the end of the fourth act.

The rest of the cast was pretty good. Callegari was also good conducting the chorus and orchestra, providing brilliant musical moments.

The production was very nice. Great lighting and nice decors, providing a romantic perspective of the roofs of Paris in the first and fourt acts. In the second act we saw a really over crowded stage. I'm not sure if it was more people in the audience rather than on the stage.

The audience reacted really great as it was recognized later on by Anna Netrebko and Joseph Calleja. Standing ovations lasting several minutes and one curtain call after another at the end of the performance, mainly for Anna Netrebko and Joseph Calleja. I was able to be on the stage during the last curtain calls and to meet Anna and Joseph there. They were really happy with the performance and the great audience of the Bayerische Staatsoper.

Several people were attending the artists at the stage door. When Anna came she was entoured by a lot of people trying to get an autograph and to make a photo. Joseph Calleja was also signing autographs. Erwin Schrott had attended the performance and he was also there at the stage door. After quite a long time signing autographs, Anna asked Erwin in spanish "Amor! Vamos?" and Erwin came to take her and they left the place, walking together along Maximilian Strasse with Jeffrey Vanderveen and Joseph Calleja.

Unforgettable performance, unforgettable night.

Press Reviews
Robert Braunmüller has written a short review for today's edition of the Abendzeitung.

Robert Braunmüller has written also a longer review for tomorrow's issue of the Abendzeitung. The title says everything: "No other Mimi dies more beautifully".

Reinhard Brembeck has written a review for the tomorrow's edition of the Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

Matthias Bieber has written a review for tomorrow's edition of TZ. The title is "Pains can be so beautiful".

On-line Press Reviews
Schöner stirbt keine Mimì, Abendzeitung, 28. Mai 2009 [German]
Annas Erleuchtung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 25. Mai 2009 [German]
Keine reine Star-Show, Merkur, 26. Mai 2009 [German]

Photo Album
Photos [1-5, 7-9] by Herbert, Photo [6] by Britta

Anna Netrebko at the first curtain call catching a bouquet of flowers. Uploaded to Youtube by dcarp


  1. It sounds like you were treated to a great performance! I am trying (badly) to keep my jealousy hidden :))

    I think they (A&J) make a great stage pairing and I hope they'll be singing together at regular intervals over the coming seasons.

  2. Great! I won't try to keep my jealousy hidden :)
    What was Erwin doing there? Hope to see him soon in a performance.

  3. I won't try to keep my jealousy hidden :) Great night, I'm sure.

    What was Erwin doing there? Hope to see him again soon in a performance.

  4. As it is mentioned on the reviews, Erwin attended the performance of La Bohème. Then, while Anna was signing autographs and posing for some photos at the stage door, he was also around there and people took some photos with him.

  5. Anna's Mimi is the best !... the 3th act played by Anna is simply fantastic <3 and her DONDE LIETA USCI' is................................ full of love !

  6. Thank you very much for your review Carlos.



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