Tuesday, October 11, 2005

La Boheme

Last night the VoR and I went to see La Boheme at the Opera House. I love this opera: it's a nice mix of romance, comedy and tragedy. I had a little tear in my eye at the end.
The role of Marcello was sung by an understudy, whose name happens to be the same as a recently retired AFL player, so VoR was delighted to be able to comment on them leaving out of his bio that he played half-back flank for North Melbourne (they only listed his musical and operatic credentials). Coupled with the fact that this opera is in four acts (quarters), and Rodolfo was sung by the same tenor who sang Cavaradossi in Tosca -- 'he must have been traded in the off-season' -- the VoR was in his element with sporting analogies.
I thought that Marcello (admittedly, the understudy) and Mimi had been cast with looks in mind rather than voice: both of them looked quite young and boho but seemed to have very thin voices. In their duet they both struggled to be heard above the orchestra, which was a shame.
But I do have a new opera hero: Colline was sung by Jud Arthur in some impressive blonde dreadlocks and a very bohemian goatee. He sang the role with just the kind of strong thoughtfulness I always like in a philosopher. (I have also seen Jud performing impressively as a bare-chested Mikado, although only on television.) It's a shame he's a bass/baritone: I could easily fall in love with him if he was to sing the role of the poet Rodolfo. Why do tenors get all the good parts?

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