Composer: Giacomo Puccini
directed by Laco Adamik
music directed by Tomasz Tokarczyk
set and costumes designed by Barbara Kędzierska
SOLOISTS, THE KRAKOW OPERA ORCHESTRA, CHOIR and CHILDREN'S CHOIR
time: 6:30 pm
scene: Main Stage
duration: 2 h 50 min
time: 6:30 pm
scene: Main Stage
duration: 2 h 50 min
‘...freshness, youth, passion, cheerfulness, tears shed in silence, a love that gives you joy and makes you suffer,’ Puccini wrote about the perfect theme for an opera which he had found in Murger’s novel Scènes de la vie de bohème, which he himself could relate to through his own experience of several years spent as a student and artist at Milan’s conservatory. The duo of Giacosa and Illica magically turned the material into a superb libretto, not without some intervention of the composer himself. The latter endowed the tale of the Parisian bohemian life with a melodious phrase congenial with the situation, proving himself a master in building up the mood, inciting yearnings, and moving the audience. The residents of a poor garret are about to abandon their artsy spaces and walk into a life ruled by different laws. For now, however, they are experiencing their first loves, and the first complications that come with them, as well as the first misfortunes in their lives, including death, which forebodes the end of their beautiful amusements, the end of carefree times, and thus a goodbye to youth. But let us not ponder on this yet, let us forget all about it and let ourselves be overtaken by the joyful mood of Musetta’s waltz, or the enticing words of the main heroine, ‘Si, mi chiamano Mimi’(‘Yes, they call me Mimi’) and Rodolfo’s bold attempt at seduction, ‘Che gelida manina’ (‘What a cold hand’). We’ll be better off that way.
Iwona Socha was absolutely perfect as Mimi! Beautiful phrasing supported with deep dramatism of the character testify to the Artist’s great maturity in performing this role. Andrzej Lampert as Rodolfo has won over the entire audience. Already in the first act, the “Che gelida manina” aria, he established his leading position, and this does not refer only to the Krakow‘s 'La Bohème’. This emotional and spontaneous singer, who demonstrates perfection in his gestures, presents a very high artistic standard. Katarzyna Oleś-Blacha did extremely well as Musetta - she surprised vocally. A slightly different-than-usual vocalising, connected with good acting skills, brought a really good result! In the role of Marcello, Adam Szerszeń added much warmth and naturalness to his character. Michał Kutnik as Schaunard displayed his excellent singing and acting skills – he created a characteristic and yet authentic figure. Colline as depicted by Volodymyr Pankiv is a winsome and genuine philosopher, whereas Andrzej Biegun, both in the role of Benoît and Alcindoro, endeared with his vis comica. In every respect, these artists, only some of whom were part of the premiere cast, form a very solid artistic basis for the Krakow version of ‘La Bohème’. Tomasz Kuk, as another performer of the role of Rodolfo, also deserves great appreciation. He amazed with the subtlety of sounds and emotion that made his character truly moving. The performance is a great success of the Krakow Opera. The lyrical and dramatic story of four friends and their existential problems is close to every generation and provides a timeless message. Adorned with the music of one of the greatest composers of operatic literature, it gains an appropriate character. The staging is magnificent, and not only perfectly renders the atmosphere of Paris of those days, but also outlines the silhouettes of particular characters, each of whom is strong and distinctive. This is a performance about everyone… and for everyone. I would like to congratulate the producers and thank them for yet another gem in the repertoire of our Opera.
http://malanart.blogspot.com, 27 September 2015
Well, this title was really missing in the repertoire, so I am glad to see it back on the Krakow stage. This is not the first staging of this opera by Laco Adamik, who has initiated his career of an opera director with ‘La Bohème’ in 1977 in the Grand Theatre in Łódź. Adamik decided to move the plot a bit forward, from the first half of the 19th century to the belle époque era, when Puccini was penning his timeless piece. This is one of the reasons why the writer Rodolfo writes his play on a typewriter, and the costumes designed by Barbara Kędzierska follow the ambient of fin de siècle (...). Out of four acts, the second one set in a café in the Latin Quarter seemed most interesting. Thanks to the dynamic crowd that hustled by the stairs, it was possible to capture the atmosphere of a bustling Paris street. The director has also skilfully incorporated a children’s choir which brought additional colour to this part of the story.
Iwona Socha was particularly convincing in her tragedy (…). Bright stars in the cast were also Mariusz Godlewski as the painter Marcello, Tomasz Rudnicki as the musician Schaunard, and Katarzyna Oleś-Blacha in the role of Musetta, who simply sparkled in the second act. With his ‘La Bohème’, Adamik proved his great respect for both the music and stage artists. As a result, we received a classic staging, in which the most valuable assets were the set design and costumes – coherent, since all kept in various shades of grey (…).
Dziennik Polski, 28 September 2015