“I must have seen this production at least a dozen times over the last three to four years, and I cannot recall a performance of it that I enjoyed more than this one. Kristine Opolais and Piotr Beczala exceeded expectations on Tuesday night, singing Puccini’s treasured music with beauty and grace. They were a superb dramatic pair, too, making their relationship as thrilling for the audience as for the characters themselves.”

Eric C. Simpson – The New Criterion

“Lucky for those attending the current run of the opera, the stars are in alignment–with Kristine Opolais (Mimi), Piotr Beczala (Rodolfo), Brigitta Kele (Musetta) and Massimo Cavalletti (Marcello) as the stellar central quartet and not a weak link down the line, under the sure and sweeping baton of Marco Armiliato.

BOHEME doesn’t get much better than this at the Met these days, with the performers ready to roll as soon as the curtain went up on Act I, with the good-natured hijinks in Rodolfo’s and Marcello’s garret filled out by the wonderful duo of bass-baritones Patrick Carfizzi as Schaunard and Ryan Speedo Green as Colline. As the others head for Caffe Momus, leaving Rodolfo to finish some work before joining them, Mimi enters and the opera’s Act I trifecta of great arias begins between them : “Che gelida manina,” “Mi chiamano Mimi” and “O soave fanciulla.” It’s never “can you top this?” but a heartfelt lightning bolt between the couple that Opolais and Beczala-both in glorious voice–get down perfectly …

Cavalletti and Opolais sang together at the Met when she made her surprise role debut as Mimi, replacing an ill colleague in an HD broadcast, and their interplay here seemed effortless, with him providing the strong shoulder she needs in Act III” …

The opera’s finale was a model of Puccini’s intentions, with no melodrama, death spasms or high notes for our heroine (though Rodolfo gets in a few of his own). In other words, Opolais expired perfectly.”

Richard Sasanow – BroadwayWorld.com

Image: Ken Howard / Metropolitan Opera