OP0413. LA BOHEME (Leoncavallo), Live Performance, 1990, w.Koenig Cond. Teatro La Fenice Ensemble; Lucia Mazzaria, Jonathan Summers, Martha Senn, Mario Malagnini, Bruno Practico, etc. (E.U.) 2-Membran 223304-311, in gatefold jacket w.Elaborate 79pp. Libretto-Brochure. - 4011222233042
“Ruggero Leoncavallo (1857-1919) is, of course, best known as the composer of PAGLIACCI. He had the bad luck to write a pretty good opera, LA BOHEME, ( first performed in 1897) at about the same time as Puccini’s opera of the same title which first appeared in 1896. If Puccini’s masterpiece hadn’t been written, Leoncavallo’s opera would likely be at the frontier of the standard operatic repertoire.
His setting of Henri Murger’s novel SCÈNES DE LA VIE DE BOHÈME is well crafted, tuneful, and engaging from start to finish. It’s libretto (also by Leoncavallo) is not as good as the one Puccini received from Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa. The two operas clearly show the difference between talent and genius. Puccini’s LA BOHEME has swallowed the world leaving no room for Leoncavallo’s lesser effort.”
- Neil Kurtzman, 25 June, 2015