A gleaming Mimi dominates Miami Lyric Opera’s `La Bohème’, reads the headline from a review in the Miami Herald. The review goes on to say…
The poverty, pathos and youthful high spirits of Puccini’s La Bohème can seem out of place in the splendor of the great opera houses.
But Miami Lyric Opera’s ardent, low-budget production, which opened Thursday in Miami Beach, entered into the Bohemian spirit of the work more effectively than many more opulent presentations can manage, with a deeply moving — if not always polished — performance that packed an emotional punch.
Although La Bohème is among the most frequently performed operas in this country, the Lyric’s production offers a sincere, successful attempt to bring out the essence of what makes this opera great.
The singers took full advantage of the intimate surroundings of the 465-seat Colony Theater, using subtler, more cinematic acting than is usually seen on the opera stage. As Mimi, soprano Jacqueline Quirk dominated the production with a gleaming voice that was strong throughout its range and delivered on the big moments, such as Mi chiamano Mimi and the end of the duet O soave fanciulla.
As Rodolfo, Rodolfo Cuevas brought a lighter voice that was often buried under Quirk’s more powerful tones. The Mexican tenor’s voice grew thin and raspy in the upper range, but Cuevas communicated a real feeling for the role, with a natural physical intimacy with Quirk, particularly in the final scene when he sat beside her in bed to comfort her.