Opera review: La boheme at Covent Garden
Puccini's La boheme: Antonio Pappano explores the emotion behind the music (The Royal Opera)2017
With Antonio Pappano conducting with perfect control, especially in his use of breathtakingly quiet passages that brought out the powerful emotions of the piece, this was a real musical treat. Individually the cast was very strong, but the relationships between the characters seemed not to come out in the opening scene where a painter, a poet, a musician and a philosopher share their penniless artistic lives. The set was as gloriously garret-like as I have seen, and the parts were sung beautifully, but the passion was missing in their technically good performances. I even thought this might look better when transmitted as part of the ROH Live Cinema series on October 3 as close-ups on the simgers can cover up the lack of interplay between them. By the time the final act arrived, when the doomed Mimi returns to the garret to die among her friends, they had all got it right and aided by the unbeatable combination of Pappano and Puccini, this was as perfect a tear-jerking finale as I have ever seen in this opera.
Royal Opera House, London, Poor Puccini. He suffers more than any other composer I know from being treated as a box-office draw. Dmitri Tcherniakov notwithstanding , Carmen is perhaps not so dissimilar; yet, given its status as the sole Bizet opera worth staging — Lord preserve us from the tedium of another Pearl Fishers — the situation remains different. I wondered, then, what Richard Jones might make of the same opera. My sense, whilst away, was that reception of its first outing had not generally been favourable.
Please refresh the page and retry. His new staging is fresh, beautiful, and intelligent — never putting too much weight on what is essentially a romantic comedy with a sad ending and always warmly responsive to its uncomplicated charm and vivid characterisation. Fancy a cheap night at the Royal Opera House? Take your seat on the floor. Although he has previously radiated a rather tense personality on stage, Fabiano seemed relaxed here, displaying an unsuspected gift for what Reginald Bunthorne called touch-and-go jocularity. Slender and plainly pretty, she looked the part to perfection. T he Vanishing Bridegroom, review: for all its wit and ingenuity, the score never quite delivers.
Nothing entertains affluent old people more than the spectacle of starving young people dying to Puccini.
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John Copley's venerable staging lasted for 43 years and the one before that — Peter Brook reviving a pre-war production — had a decent innings running from I doubt this new effort from Richard Jones will last half as long, not because it's controversial in any respect but because it's tepid. Many of the familiar Jones tics are absent — no animal masks, paper bags or flock wallpaper — but this is still recognisably a Jones show, mainly due to buildings which shunt around and his clever use of perspective. The four bohemians inhabit a sparsely furnished garret that looks a bit Ikea chic for the period. Mimi Jordan Sherin lights Act 1 so brightly that any dependency on candles is rendered null and void. Act 2 is the scenic highlight, brilliantly evoking three bustling Parisian arcades, the excellent Royal Opera Chorus decked in their finest Quality Street splendour.
La boheme trailer (The Royal Opera)
La boheme (). 3 October Puccini's passionate opera is conducted by Antonio Pappano and stars a superb young cast including.
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