Mimì = Adriana Damato
Marcello = Gabriel Bermudez
Musetta = Christiane Kohl
Schaunard = Cheyne Davidson
Colline = Andreas Hörl
Benoit = Davide Fersini
Alcindoro = Valeriy Murga
Parpignol = Christopher Hux
A customs official = Matthew Leigh
Sergeant = Falvio Matthias
Massimo Zanetti, conductor
Inszenierung - Philippe Sireuil
Bühnenbild - Vincent Lemaire
Kostüme - Jorge Jara
Lichtgestaltung - Hans-Rudolf Kunz
Choreinstudierung - Ernst Raffelsberger
Lots of JCx friends there. It did not look as it was many of us in the beginning but then I started to see friends all over the house. I was not sure if I would enjoy this production but I really. It was a modern La Boheme but not in a way that would make the story improbable.
Act 1: Jose Cura as Rodolfo was laying on a sofa. He looked larger than life and when Gabriel Bermudez came in, he too looked larger than life. But I was on row 2 so maybe that why all looked so big. Still Jose Cura and Gabriel Bermudez are both muscle men. Andreas Hörl was Colline. He is a tall man with a sweet bass voice. Cheyne Davidson was a solid Schaunard.
Then came the disappointment. Adriana Damato, who I last saw as a perfect Lina in Verdi's Stiffelio, came in as a too solid Mimi. Not only was her Mimi to solid and healthy looking (or even heavy) but her acting was like wood and not the kind Puccini needs. Her singing was good but she really needs to get her acting skills in order. It also should not be obvious to the viewers the strain singing gives. After the very realistic acting from the boys suddenly old-school opera. Jose Cura created the magic with his singing and reacting to his Mimi and of course Adriana Damato rose to her best with him.
Highlights: The duet Questo mar rosso (Cura/Bermudez), Che gelida manina (Jose Cura) and O soave fanciulla (Cura/Damato). Adriana Damato's singing Mimi's aria was great and not so great at the same time.
Act 2: Now, finally Adriana Damato is Mimi as good as anyone. Christine Kohl is Musetta and sings her aria with flair. I liked the staging of the scene, unconventional but it works. This production really works.
Highlight: Quando me'n vo (Christine Kohl)
Act 3: Again the production worked it magic. Adriana Damato, Gabriel Bermudez, Jose Cura, Christine Kohl makes this a musical highlight. Acting and singing is great.
Highlights: duets and quartet
Act 4: Loved it. I was worried that Adriana Damato would not be acting well, but she was superb. Jose Cura was so immersed in his character that he had a hard time trying to smile at the curtain call, he had really experienced Mimi's death as reality.
Highlight: Adriana Damato's and Jose Cura's duet Sono andati. Normally Colline's aria Vecchio zimarra is a highlight but it was not so for me.
It was a great role debut for both Jose Cura and Gabriel Bermudez as Rodolfo and Marcello. It was worth going to Zurich. Jose Cura was fantastic as Rodolfo. In the end I must say I was not too happy with the conductor, Massimo Zanetti. He had a reading of Che gelida manina that was really slow, I think.
After the performance we all went to the backstage and waited. When Jose Cura came he sat down so that we could take photo, talk to him and get autographs. It took a long time for Cura till he finally could get out and have his dinner.