Baz Luhrmann, most famous as the film director of Moulin Rouge and Strictly Ballroom, took a production of the famed opera La Boheme to Broadway at the end of 2002. Luhrmann updated the piece in some ways for contemporary audiences, changing the setting from the 1840s to 1957 Paris, and using three sets of performers, all in their twenties, to play the main roles of Rodolfo and Mimi. While most original Broadway cast albums are done in a day, this album was recorded over the course of several days. Perhaps because Luhrmann took some liberties in updating the production, and also because the principal singers were so young, purists might want to pass on this if they're looking for only one or two performances of the work for their collection. Other than the noise of a typewriter (it's 1957 Paris, remember), though, this is pretty faithful to the musical portion of the opera as it was originally conceived. It's well-recorded and well-sung, and so should serve fine as a document of the opera and/or the Broadway production for many listeners.
AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger
|La bohème, opera|