Synopsis by Mark Deming
Jan Kiepura and Marta Eggerth, a pair of gifted opera singers who were also husband and wife, were at the height of their fame in 1936 when they starred in this Viennese screen musical. Denise (Eggerth) is an aspiring singer whose audition for a production of La Bohème strongly impresses Rene (Kiepura), another performer hoping to land a role in the opera. Denise wins the leading role of Mimi, and Rene wins the heart of Denise as well as a part as her love interest, but their good fortune is soon shrouded in tragedy when Denise discovers that, much like her character, she has contracted a fatal disease which may prevent her from making her triumphant debut. Zauber der Boheme (aka The Charm of La Boheme) was designed to incorporate the music of Puccini's opera into a contemporary setting as a vehicle for Kiepura and Eggerth; this project marked their return to the European screen after a stay in Hollywood failed to make them into American matinee idols in the manner of Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy.
terminal-illness, lover, sacrifice, career, musical [play], opera, songwriter, audition, debut, opera-singer, stage
High Artistic Quality