Here in New York, we have passed in a flash from sticky summery heat to winter, and the subway seems a sick ward, filled with full-fledged tisici.
Clearly, then, it’s time for Puccini’s La bohème! Callas recorded the complete opera under Antonino Votto in 1956, and Mimì was one of four rôles (the others being Nedda, Manon Lescaut, and Carmen) that she portrayed on disc but not on stage.
This scene from Act III, featuring Rolando Panerai as Marcello, finds Callas in penetrating form. John Ardoin notes: “We are taken into Mimì’s innermost fears and longings, and Callas not only conveys a sense of waning strength, but of the embarrassment of laying bare private feelings to a third person.”
Hear Callas (and others) singing music by Puccini. P.S. That link will take you, as well, to footage of Giacomo Puccini himself.