La Boheme
Interview with Anna Netrebko

Great Performances had a chance to sit-down with opera diva Anna Netrebko, star of Robert Dornhelm’s film-for-television adaption of Puccini’s La Boheme, premiering on PBS on December 23rd at 9pm (check local listings). Senior Publicist Jitin Hingorani chatted with Netrebko about her experience shooting the film, her recent pregnancy, and her ideas on how opera has changed over the years. Netrebko (Mimi) is joined by her on-screen partner Rolando Villazon (Rodolfo) in the film; they are often referred to as “opera’s golden couple.”

  • Howard Haimes

    This opera is just wonderful. Bravo to PBS & Great Performances. I own DVD and can watch yet again and again.

  • Norman Cohn

    The subtitles of this wonderful performance were dreadful and mostly illegible. And the running of the credits- cast, production, etc.- was ridiculous, useless. And now no such information on this web site!!!

  • Norman Cohn

    The subtitles of this wonderful performance were dreadful and mostly illegible. And the running of the credits- cast, production, etc.- was ridiculous, useless. And now no such information on this web site!!!
    Shame!!!! And this transmission was a mess. You get worse by the second!!!

  • maeve casey

    Where is a listing of the cast!!! I agree the credits at end were impossible to read!

  • Lorant Vaska

    Huge musical dissapointment. Bertrand De Billy’s conducting was ever flat. The conductor had difficulties to maintain control when more then two singers were performing. The emotional content was not present in the orchestra’s playing. The director’s work was a nice try.

  • Constance Berg

    As my husbnd I watched this wonderful and beautiful perfomance of these great artists,we felt thrilled and privileged to be able watch the opera in our living room on a snowy night. Thank you PBS! Also,we, too, wished that the credits would have given more informtion about each of the singers and the production.

  • Winnie Gustafson

    What a wonderful holiday treat—to find La Boheme on PBS tonight as we listen to the wind bringing in our expected Christmas blizzard! Altogether exquisitely enjoyable. Thank you, PBS!

  • lillian mahvi

    I loved the opera. Thank you pbs. Credits were useless as well as the subtitles, but I know the opera. I came to pbs web site to find out more about the two principals and nothing available. Disappointed.

  • Inge Fett

    What a great early Christmas present! Thank you, PBS! The filming was great. I loved the “in your face” close-ups. It was a pleasure to watch and hear.

  • charles t rines

    The singers were wonderful, but it was rude and
    disrespectful to not give us the credits at the
    end in readable form and to not ever let us know
    who the conductor or the other singers were. We
    are real people and deserving of respect.

  • mia

    Can someone please provide who were the rest of the crew? especially musetta, I really wanna know her name, she was great!!! everyone was great, except the main guy, did not like him much

  • David Schechter

    The singing was excellent. The conductor, however, gave a rather schmaltzy account of this scintillating score.
    Really bad was the tarting up of Mimi. She is supposed to be a modest seamstress. She more makeup more appropriate for a hooker.
    Best in the cast was the Musetta.
    The lip-stynching was horribly misaligned with the sound.
    The camera work was disturbingly restless.
    The Zefferelli production was much more faithful to the drama (and the music). Jose Carreras sang circkes around Villazon.
    The post-opera credits were idiotic.
    Who was in the cast? Who was the conductor?

  • Barbara Schlang

    I thought the program was superb. All principals were near perfect, but the sub-titles and credits left much to be desired

  • Clementina Filosa-Morton

    This was one of the most impressive opera presentations I have seen:the characters interacted with each other in a warm, loving way and with humor in spite of their difficult existence; so reminiscent of some of de Maupassant’s short stories of down and outers in Paris in the middle of the 19th century. Everyone trying to fend for oneself yet understanding the need for companionship and forgiveness. Ms.Netrebko and Mr. Villazon were extraordinary, but all the singers were excellent. I think Musetta could have been “let loose” a bit more, but was excellent. The attention of the diners and the crowd was very realistic and added to the dramas as they occurred. Mr. Dornhelm is the opera director we need nowadays; one who understands that to engage the audience you need not only excellent singers, but excellent acting,realistic settings and a feeling that everyone in the scene is engaged with the central actors. Bravo! Brava!

  • Hideko Oga

    Yes, this was really a wonderful program to enjoy this holiday season. I was just so mesmerized. Meanwhile, I am still trying to find the CREDITS to know othwe performers, directors, etc. but have not been able to find at all. I wish the website should have the access for those detail information. For those who is interestsed, it is important to know more about this producetion. I agree with Norman (#2 and other comments) the subtitles were pretty difficult to catch eyes although many knows this opera so well.

  • A>Armato

    Bravo Well Done

  • Sandy Perky

    Mr. Schechter says it all. Carreras has the mezza voce he learned from DeStefano, something that Villazon lacks (wonderful as he is).

  • Sophia

    Nicole Cabell plays Musetta. She is WONDERFUL!

  • W. Ferrari-Zeutzius

    Even though it was way past my bed-time I was “hooked”! But the subtitles in the snow scene
    were terrible and the credits were way, way, too fast. Still I enfoyed everybit of it! thanks pbs

  • Jane Auger

    All of the cast names and details are available at
    I thought it was great!

  • Sheila L. Ramsey

    Mi chiamano Mimi!! THAT’S MY SONG!!

  • Laura Finkelstein

    It took me forever to find out who the singers were and when this production was made. I still only can find the names of the two principals. It seemed “old”, and I think I’m right; seems it was made in 2009 (three years ago); and it seemed very much as though the singers were lip-synching……Were they? That made it much less enjoyable, although the acting was better than normal; but I wish the singing had been ‘live’. I couldn’t find out who the tenor was until I reached this page; but his upper tessitura seemed forced/really pushed (it didn’t ‘float’ like a true lyric tenor) and the timbre was just not first-rate (at least to me — although I know Villazon has a good reputation, he just didn’t work for me in this role; I have heard far better Rodolfo’s, whose voice have much more resonance and an easier high tessitura. I wish you had given the names of the rest of the cast (I’m curious to know if any of the other principals are still singing in major opera houses); and I still don’t know who the director of the ‘made-for-television’ production was. There was nothing listed on my local PBS television station or on its website, which really surprised me. And WHY is the production being aired now? Is it the anniversary of the opera’s first performance or of some important date in Puccini’s life, etc., etc.? I’m really disappointed with PBS (and frankly, surprised) at the lack of information on program listings on local stations and on the credits of the production itself (which should have been given first, and certainly not rushed through at the end). There are so many outstanding young tenors in the opera world who could really nail the role of Rodolfo: why not show a more recent production, especially with a tenor whose voice is more suited for the part? Why show something from 2009? (I can understand showing even a 1970s opera “Live from Wolf Trap”, for example, with Beverly Sills–Donizetti–which was astounding!! — but not a mediocre production from 2009, with no explanation of why it’s being shown/taken from your archives).

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