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Puccini’s La Boheme & Verdi’s Aida

Opera House, Manchester

Ellen Kent Productions

1 and 2 March 2014

la boheme

The Rose of Love will bloom, no matter how unwelcome the earth.

That’s what makes the operas such an apt pairing.

Although Puccini and Verdi vary in their approach to the art, each opera is a masterpiece; and these productions from Ellen Kent are splendid.

After playing Musetta, the femme flirt in La Boheme, Olga Perrier took the lead in Aida.  Among a stellar cast, she was outstanding.  The costumes and sets give you a real sense of period.

On a rough (some would say rash) generalisation, you could say that Puccini is more inclined to tug at the heart strings whereas Verdi’s scores have more dramatic force.  Personally, I much prefer Verdi: his scores are like witnessing a storm at sea.  Thunder and lightning, excitement.  In this regard, Peter Conrad’s book on Verdi and Wagner is well worth a read.

La Boheme and Aida throughout the UK, further details can be found here.