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Opera from the Archives: Puccini's LA BOHEME with Toscanini Conducting in 1946, Sept. 13, 1 PM

Licia Albanese sings Mimi in the 1946 live recording of LA BOHEME. The beloved soprano passed away at age 105 in August.

We've got a treat in store for you this Saturday at 1 pm. It's the famous February, 1946 live recording of Giacomo Puccini's LA BOHEME with Arturo Toscanini on the podium conducting the NBC Symphony Orchestra and the NBC Symphony Chorus. The broadcast celebrated the 50th anniversary of the opera's debut. Acclaimed soprano Licia Albanese, who just passed away last month at age 105, sings Mimi.

The world première performance of La Boheme took place in Turin, Italy in February, 1896 at the Teatro Regio, and was conducted by the young Toscanini. The opera quickly became popular throughout Italy, and has become part of the standard Italian opera repertory. It's one of the most frequently performed operas worldwide. In 1946, 50 years after the opera's premiere, Toscanini conducted this performance with the NBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus. It is the only recording of a Puccini opera by its original conductor.

Listen to this: That Unforgettable Aria from La Boheme


Licia Albanese (Soprano): Mimi
Jan Peerce (Tenor): Rodolfo
Frank Valentino (Baritone): Marcello
Anne McKnight (Soprano): Musetta
George Cehanovsky (Baritone): Schaunard
Nicola Moscona (Bass): Colline
Salvatore Baccaloni (Bass): Benoit and Alcindoro