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A return to The Met for ‘La Bohème’

This season, Michael Fabiano will reprise his acclaimed portrayal of the romantic poet Rodolfo in Puccini’s La Bohème at The Metropolitan Opera. Mr. Fabiano sings the role on February 16, 21 & 24 and March 2, 7 & 10 with a cast that also includes Sonya Yoncheva as Mimì, Lucas Meachem as Marcello, and Susanna Phillips as Musetta. Marco Armiliato conducts all performances, which feature the iconic staging by Franco Zeffirelli. Audiences outside of the New York metro area will have the opportunity to enjoy these performances via a series of broadcasts, including a worldwide Live in HD cinema broadcast and Saturday matinee radio broadcast, both airing on February 24.

The tenor is a tall, slim young man with the sort of brooding good looks you’d expect to see in one of the Corleone sons. His voice has a curious “arresting” quality, a sort of primal cry of pleasure and pain. He tempers this volcanic timbre, though, with elegant phrasing and sensitive dynamics. The opening phrases of his first aria, “Che gelida manina,” he sang in a honeyed mezza voce, almost shyly. Step by step, the voice blossomed with rich vibrato up to a long, electrifying high C.

This was a perfectly balanced performance, bold without ever tipping over into arrogance. When the curtain finally fell on Rodolfo’s hysterical sobbing over his dead lover, I noticed an unaccustomed sensation in my cynical critic’s heart: this was the first Bohème in years that actually made me feel.”

James Jorden – Observer

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