An unexpected “Mimi” in Saturday’s La Bohème!
La Bohème can stake its claim as the world’s most popular opera. It has a marvelous ability to make a powerful first impression (even on those new to opera) and to reveal unexpected treasures after dozens of hearings. Last Saturday’s performance at Metropolitan Opera, however, had one especially large “unexpected treasure”. In fact, this performance is sure to go down in history in terms of last-minute cast changes! At 7:30 AM on the airing date of La Bohème’s broadcast performance of the Met’s Live in HD series, soprano Kristine Opolais received a call asking her to stand in as the leading lady in that afternoon’s show. Anita Hartig, the soprano who had been rehearsing for the part of Mimi, unexpectedly took ill and had to step out of the performance. Opolais, who has just hours previously sung the title role of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, graciously agreed to perform in the show that would be broadcasted not only to the Met’s audience of 3,800, but would also be transmitted to radio stations and to movie theaters around the world.
Read the New York Times’ article on Opolais’ unexpected performance HERE .
The Metropolitan Opera Presents: Puccini’s La Bohème is the latest in the Metropolitan Opera Presents Libretto Library Series by Amadeus Press. In this groundbreaking book series, classic and well-known operas are presented in a fresh new package. Each book features the complete libretto; color image inserts from Met Opera productions, including stage scenes, costumes, and set photos and illustrations; a Met Opera libretto “In Focus” feature; and official Met Opera program notes.