It really seems like every time I head to the cinemas for my dose of opera and ballet it is raining. Which just makes it a perfect match.

This rainy Saturday afternoon it was the production of La Boheme from Teatro Real Madrid. As much as I love the Puccini opera I have to admit that this outing was a disappointment. Partly because of the casting of Rodolfo, the squat and rotund Aquiles Machado, who was so far removed from my expectation of a romantic lead that it coloured my impression of his singing. Inva Mulva was much more believable as the innocently coquettish Mimi and her wan face in the final act was loving and poignant.

The other reason the screening didn’t match other shows I’ve seen was because of the sound. Somewhere between Act 1 and 2 someone hit the mute button, so the rest of the performance sounded like it was being played through a plaster wall. Which made Puccini’s soaring melodies and those high notes sound like an echo from a faraway valley.