Headshot of La Cieca

Cher Public

  • kashania: I will. Like you, I haven’t heard Lopardo in years and am really looking forward to hearing... 1:02 PM
  • kashania: Oops, my comment was supposed to go in response operajunky’s comment. I did see Written on... 12:58 PM
  • kashania: Yeah, she’s a low soprano for sure. 12:56 PM
  • jackoh: Allow me to offer a defense of the McVicar Cav, which I liked better than his Pag. In the same... 12:43 PM
  • norma54: Agree with almost everything in the review…. ESPECIALLY the awful, distracting and... 12:40 PM
  • danpatter: I saw the HD telecast, so my perspective is different, of course. I hated the Cav production,... 11:43 AM
  • tatiana: Thanks for another thorough and perceptive review, JJ. I saw this in HD–no real intention to... 11:40 AM
  • Satisfied: Aside: Written on Skin tickets went on-sale today to the general public. Promises to be a... 11:39 AM
  • PCally: I think she’s aware of that because she sings Santuzza, Cassandra, and Didon and recently... 11:39 AM
  • JohninSeattle: The Judith Blegen clip is wonderful. Thanks for that. She was always a personal favorite 11:39 AM

The songs of La Bohème will live forever

Our Own Jungfer Marianne Leitmetzerin demonstrates the enduring quality of art with two performances of La Bohème four decades apart.

Giacomo Puccini: La Bohème
Metropolitan Opera
Giuseppe Antonicelli, conductor
16 December 1948
In-house recording (amazing sound quality!)

Mimì – Bidu Sayão
Rodolfo – Jussi Björling
Musetta – Mimi Benzell
Marcello – John Brownlee
Schaunard – Hugh Thompson
Colline – Nicola Moscona
Benoît – Melchiorre Luise
Alcindoro – Melchiorre Luise
Parpignol – Anthony Marlowe
A sergeant – Lawrence Davidson

Giacomo Puccini: La Bohème
Highlights
Metropolitan Opera
Carlos Kleiber, conductor
25 January 1988
In-house recording

Mimì – Mirella Freni
Rodolfo – Luciano Pavarotti
Musetta – Barbara Daniels
Marcello – Jonathan Summers
Schaunard – Thomas Hampson
Colline – Gwynne Howell

This was the second of 19 performances Carlos Kleiber conducted at the Met through October 1990.

Requested by and lovingly dedicated to La Cieca.

149 comments

  • mirywi says:

    The sound on the 1948 recording is excellent! It feels like I’m on stage with the singers I like that steady and bright voweled Mimi and Björling is a miracle. Thank you for posting.
    Is the 1988 performance a private recording? Man I wish I had gone to that.

  • RobNYNY says:

    Yes, I do have a couple of suggestions. Don’t get bent out of shape when someone observes that a recording does not live up to the touted audio quality. Don’t get bent out of shape when someone says an that old recording of a competent but not great singer is not necessarily a great performance, and is in fact, no better than she ever sang in the house. Don’t get bent out of shape when someone who has heard a singer in the house a lot of times (New York, Chicago, Vienna) has a different opinion from yours. Don’t get bent out of shape because someone states a fact about rhythmic accuracy, and the best you can do is act all passive-aggressive.

    I appreciate that you post these historical recordings, but I don’t need to like them all.