Franco Zeffirelli’s lavish production of La Bohème, the most-performed opera in Met history, starring Italian tenor Vittorio Grigolo as the poet Rodolfo and Latvian soprano Kristine Opolais as the fragile seamstress Mimì, airs on Great Performances at the Met on Friday, June 27 at 9 p.m.
Opolais made headlines and history when she agreed to make her company role debut as Mimì with just a few hours notice, having sung the demanding title role in Puccini’s Madama Butterfly for the first time at the Met the night before. With this performance, she became the first singer in Met history to debut two major roles in a 24-hour period.
Susanna Phillips sings the flirtatious Musetta and Massimo Cavalletti is the painter Marcello, led by Italian conductor Stefano Ranzani. Also featured in the cast are Patrick Carfizzi as Schaunard, Oren Gradus as Colline, and Donald Maxwell as Benoît/Alcindoro.
Opolais has sung Mimi with the Vienna State Opera, Berlin State Opera, and Latvian National Opera and will sing the role at the Met next season. She made an acclaimed Met debut last year as Magda in Puccini’s La Rondine.
The production features a cast of hundreds, a spectacular onstage snow scene, and a detailed reconstruction of the Latin Quarter in Paris.
“[Vittorio Grigolo] sang with warmth and vigor, in his element as a passionate, boyish Rodolfo,” wrote the The New York Times, after the production’s opening night this season.
“Opolais displayed heartbreaking acting and a shimmering voice,” said the Associated Press.
Mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato hosts the broadcast.
La Boheme was originally seen live in movie theaters on April 5 as part of the groundbreaking The Met: Live in HD series, which transmits live performances to more than 2,000 movie theaters and performing arts centers in 66 countries around the world. The transmission reached a record-breaking 15 million viewers.
Great Performances at the Met is a presentation of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET.