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La Bohème: The Dream Cast [Highlights] ()

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La bohème has always batted cleanup in the repertory, and never more so than at the beginning of the twenty-first century: crossover star Andrea Bocelli chose it for his first complete opera recording and director Baz Luhrmann tapped it for a much-hyped run on Broadway. Perhaps in the same can't-miss spirit, Decca released its La bohème: The Dream Cast. It resembles other highlight discs in format -- chronologically touching on the opera's most famous moments -- but it is assembled from seven different recordings from Decca's catalog. Kiri Te Kanawa, Angela Gheorghiu, Renata Tebaldi, and Mirella Freni all appear in the leading role of Mimi opposite the Rodolfos of Carlo Bergonzi, Luciano Pavarotti, José Carreras, Roberto Alagna, and Bocelli. A more interesting variety would be hard to find, and each track is a gem in its own way, but the overall effect is less than the sum of its parts. Listeners are bound to like some contributing casts better than others -- why not simply buy a complete recording or... Hide synopsis

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