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Subject: Re: another Boheme
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 22 Feb 2018 10:24:08 -0500
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LA BOHEME Act Two is one of the wonders of the musical world, and
might still be called that, even if there were only seven.

Many moons ago, when I was faced with the task of  taping some
appropriate music to accompany a Christmas window display
depicting the Old Met stage during a performance of that act, with
the warning that "too much singing" would not sound good on
the street day after day, I dug deeply enough into the budget to
hire an aspiring music student who promised he could arrange the
act into an 18 minute, non vocal suite for chamber ensemble,
including a trumpet solo for the tenor's part.  Sounded good to
me, so he went to work.   The musicians, about a dozen or so,
assembled a month or two later at the old 30th St. studio for a
recording session.  They were not well rehearsed, retakes were
limited, but the resulting tape, with my reluctant approval, had to
be used anyway.  Under the circumstances: 5th Ave. traffic, the
constant shuffle of feet, the clanging of  the Salvation Army's
seasonal handbell, etc, it worked well enough, especially with
my addition, among a cluster of  other  Christmasy trifles, of only
one vocal track: Caruso's 1906  "Che gelida manina."   The aria
rang out amidst all of that tumult, every half hour or so, with startling
realism, until New Years Day..

I still think the student's suite, which used every note Puccini wrote,
in proper sequence,  and had some quite imaginative instrumentation,
was a worthy effort; a professional performance would be interesting to
hear; I sometimes wonder what he ever did with it.

The thing I still like about Zeffirelli's Act Two is the place where
everybody
freezes; there are times when should happen in a lot of operas.

dtmk




On Wed, Feb 21, 2018 at 11:12 PM, Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> IMO, Act II is actually the hardest act, from both a staging and a musical
> perspective. So
> much going on (with so many people onstage) that needs to be made clear.
> All that chorus
> work, the film-like back-and-forth interplay between the Bohemians' table
> and the other
> activity in and out of the cafe...the number of things we should see (and
> clearly hear)
> during the concertato ending of the Waltz...and then a parade to top it
> all off (during which
> we still need to get the plot point of Alcindoro getting stuck with the
> bill, etc.) It may be one
> of the shortest acts in opera, but boy, it's packed. Thee's a lot that
> could go wrong.
>
>
> On Wed, 21 Feb 2018 20:41:59 -0600, gordon young <[log in to unmask]>
> wrote:
>
> >I'm not sure act two can be ruined.
>
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