La Boheme (PG)

Marking the 150th anniversary of Puccini's birth, this Austrian-German adaptation of La Bohème underlines why opera should be confined to the stage.

It is distance that lends enchantment to this art form; with the camera right in the performers' faces the effect of sung dialogue is slightly grotesque. In the passionate duets between Mimi (Anna Netrebko) and Rodolfo (Rolando Villazon) the lovers appear to be shouting into one another's mouths. Vocally the performers in this tale of doomed love and picturesque poverty are spot-on, but one would prefer not to look right down their throats while they reach for the high notes.