Puccini: La Bohème - Maliponte, Corelli, Romero, Valdenassi; Sanzogno. Torre del Lago, 1976


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Although his will probably not be the recording of La Bohème that will be accompanying you to a dessert island, it is very important because it marks Franco Corelli's last public performance in opera and it may lead you to wonder why he decided to throw in the towel when he did.  True the voice doesn't have the ring or the ease on top that it once did, but for every note that comes out slightly strained there are two that exhibit the true genius that was Corelli.  His outburst and ensuing sobs at the end of the opera are the most gut-wrenching I have ever heard.  Adriana Maliponte is also certainly worth mentioning.  Her Mimì is a textbook example of what the Italians call "chiaroscuro": the perfect balance between bright and dark, light and heavy.  The sound is not that great so this performance is best left for the Corelli nostalgists out there.  It was taped at an outdoor theater and at times the commotion in the audience can be louder than the proceedings on stage.

OD 10613-2

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