The reviews are in for Emily Birsan, soprano and David Angus in Boston Lyric Opera’s “La bohème”!
“As the flummoxer-in-chief, the café singer Musetta, soprano Emily Birsan drew all eyes to her with a slinky, hair-tossing performance and seductive singing. . . Conductor David Angus and the BLO orchestra effectively evoked all the opera’s moods, from the moonlit romance of Act I to Act II’s brassy street scene to Rodolfo’s anguish at the end. – Boston Classical Review
“BLO music director David Angus’ work editing the score and on the podium kept Puccini’s direct, forward thrusting music largely intact. The orchestra played alertly, with enthusiasm and articulation.” -ArtEry.com
“As the coquettish Musetta, soprano Emily Birsan was a delight. Her spirited rendition of “Musetta’s Waltz,” the best-known number from the opera, was a highlight of the performance. . .The five performances of the BLO “La Bohème” are being conducted by the company’s principal music director, David Angus. Maintaining a seamless lyrical line, he pulsed the opera forward with just tempi. He managed to extract top-notch playing from the orchestra for this “La Boheme””-Edge Media Network
“A solid cast sang affectingly on Friday. . . Emily Birsan capably sang the role of Musetta. . . Conductor David Angus emphasized forward motion in the pit, and the orchestra responded.” -Boston Globe
“Soprano Emily Birsan brought a light, lilting soprano to the role of Musetta, spinning a lightning-quick vibrato with the same kind of agile effortlessness with which her character ensnares romantic prey. . . Birsan was not without subtlety; she too possesses remarkable control over her instrument, and gave a multicolored delivery of “Quando m’en vo”, cooing the nightclub-act take on the aria with all the soft-but-unambiguous sultriness of a seasoned chanteuse. Birsan avoided falling into the trap of one-dimensionality inherent to a comic secondary lead; in the fourth act, she demonstrated range with a fervent and desperate prayer for Mimì’s delivery from imminent death. The audience was able to see the human being beneath Musetta’s vampy antics as Birsan sang with a warmth and vulnerability only hinted at in the preceding acts. Coupled with Kaduce’s three-dimensional, emotionally mature Mimì, Birsan brought great poignancy to the scene as a whole, her prayer lending new weight to the moment when Mimì exhorts Marcello to forgive Musetta’s dalliances and reconcile with her for good.” -Boston Musical Intelligencer