Success La boheme at the Palau Arts with tenor Pirgu and soprano Lombardi


Joan Castello | València (EFE).- The Palau de les Arts of València hosted this Friday a new performance of “La bohème”, by Giacomo Puccini, a masterful opera widely accepted by the public, with a success again corroborated on this occasion thanks to the exceptional performance of the leading couple, tenor Saimir Pirgu, in the role of Rodolfo, and soprano Federica Lombardi, in the role of Mimi.

With an orchestra from the Valencian Community conducted with special care and mastery by its owner, James Gaffigan, the story of this bohemian group once again moved the Valencian public, who completely filled the capacity and warmly applauded the six main characters, as well as the musicians of the Valencian band which is once again at a more than reasonable level of excellence.

The programming of this popular opera in the long bridge of the Constitution and the Immaculate Conception allowed for a full story, with a very diverse audience, both local and from other parts of the Spanish geography during this short vacation, and also with exceptional assistants, such as the President of the Generalitat, Ximo Puig, and the Ministers of Culture, Raquel Tamarit, and of Justice and Public Administrations, Gabriela Bravo.

With a scenography that combines tradition and modernity, Davide Livermore, who was mayor and artistic director of the Arts between 2015 and 2017, presents us with a classic room with a sloping ceiling and oblique walls, in which he has integrated technological elements, such as on screens, digital images of Paris at the end of the 19th century and reproductions of paintings by French impressionist painters linked to a plot that judiciously combines comedy and drama are projected.


The four male protagonists (an idealistic and vitalist poet -Rodolfo-, a painter -Marcello-, a philosopher -Colline- and a musician -Schaunard-) barely live in Paris, share an apartment and manage not to pay the rent and to eat every day, but always ready to move forward with imagination and ingenuity, a situation that could be comparable to what millennials are currently experiencing after graduating from university and not being able to find work.

The female protagonists are two women with very different profiles: Mimi is a humble seamstress, in failing health, who suffers from the unfounded jealousy of the man she has fallen in love with. On the other hand, Musetta is a flirtatious, free and unattached woman, able to fake love in order to lead a pleasant life without problems, but also ready to give everything for her friends.

The Albanian tenor Saimir Pirgu (Rodolfo) and the Italian soprano Federica Lombardi (Mimí) estuvieron brilliants in addition dúos y arias, transmitting de forma sucesiva pasión, rechazo, pain y despair, in a historia de amor truncado que llega con facilidad al alma del spectator.

Italian baritone Mattia Olivieri once again demonstrated that he is a good singer and a better actor, playing the confidant of Marcello, Rodolfo and Mimi, who tries to end the bad relationship between them, and who in turn lives a stormy relationship with Musetta, a character delightfully embodied by Valencian soprano Marina Monzó, who puts the world on her will when she assures that she is a woman without prejudices who makes love with whomever she wants, although this frivolity hides a big heart capable of giving the little she has to try to save her friend Mimi.


Jaén’s baritone Damián del Castillo (Schaunard) and Valencian bass Manuel Fuentes (Hill) brought to life this story about the uselessness of life and the death of love, but sprinkled with sparkling moments like the scene of the Christmas party at Café Momus in the second act or the comic parody of the four male protagonists of the fourth act, ridiculing the bohemian life and the misery in which they find themselves immersed.

James Gaffigan, who brought sensitivity, tenderness and tension to the members of the Orquesta de la Comunitat Valenciana in a score of beautiful melodies, once again won public recognition, as did Davide Livermore, warmly welcomed on his return to the Arts de València after his tumultuous departure in 2017.


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