Review Round Up: La Bohème, English National Opera

The English National Opera have revived Jonathan Miller’s production of Puccini’s opera. Here’s what critics have had to say about it…

The Guardian: **** “Miller’s Bohème, which is set in 1930s Paris, goes to the heart of Puccini’s masterpiece while making you think about it afresh.”

The Stage: **** “Yet despite that lightness, maybe even because it’s so sustained, the tragedy when it comes is like a gut-punch. The sight of those four lads bawling their eyes out just moments after they had broken into spontaneous dancing is devastating.”

The Telegraph: *** “With her bright, glowing tone, Romaniw supplies the finest singing of the evening, and will perhaps settle in to become still more affecting as Puccini’s consumptive heroine. ”

G Scene: “A beautiful, thrilling, emotionally convincing evening in the presence of a splendid cast, and tremendous music, the ENO at its best.”

Seen and Heard International: “The success of this La bohème was due to the very well-prepared cast and also Amanda Holden’s frequently witty translation that was suitably respectful of the original libretto. Things were so compelling on stage that it was easy to overlook what was happening in the pit, yet the ENO Orchestra were excellent under the experienced baton of Alexander Joel.”

The Times: *** “This production radiates friendly warmth, a foil to the snowy, deathly chill of the two final acts. Where it didn’t score was orchestral balance.” “Altogether a wonderful evening under the baton of Alexander Joel. His musical dynamics, true to the composer’s intent, fully brought out the emotional heft of Puccini’s score. So too did Welsh soprano Natalya Romaniw as Mimi, her phrasing, the warmth of her voice, and the wonderful orchestral support bringing a lump to my throat at times.”

A Younger Theatre: “This production contained many delights, not least the haunting melodies beautifully performed by Nadine Benjamin’s vivacious Musetta and Natalya Romaniw’s delicate Mimi.” “Jonathan Tetelman who makes his European debut singing the role of Rodolfo. He was bursting with charismatic energy with a voice to match. It was a romantic, ambitious sound just on the verge of maturity.”

Planet Hugill: “I have to confess that I found that Amanda Holden’s translation, with its modernisms, rather jarred occasionally and I longed for a language which was more in keeping with the 1930s milieu. Also, I felt that there were moments when the audience laughed at the surtitles rather than what was happening on stage. Diction was patchy, the cast was clearly working hard but the combination of set and acoustics was against them.”

Broadway World: **** “This is a beautifully formed revival that shows all the light and shade in Puccini’s score, along with delivering the gut-punch of the inevitable heartbreak at the end.”

La Bohème continues to play at the English National Opera until the 22nd February. To book tickets click here or visit: See Tickets, Encore Tickets, From the Box Office, Love



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