Review Round Up: La Boheme, Royal Opera House

Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews for the Royal Opera House’s revival of Richard Jones’s production of La Boheme.

The Stage: **** “conductor Emmanuel Villaume ensures that Puccini’s flawlessly crafted score involves the audience from the first bar to the last.”

The Guardian: *** “In the pit, Emmanuel Villaume is in many ways the star of this revival. He brings the drive and intensity that the opera requires while paying full attention to the care and originality of Puccini’s scoring.”

Opera Wire: “A brisk performance carried the audience out of the auditorium before ten o’clock, but it wanted for delicacy and transparency, and greater opportunities to linger on Puccini’s exquisitely sculpted details and poised timbral combinations in the orchestra.”

The Telegraph: *** “In 2017, Richard Jones’ staging of La Bohème replaced John Copley’s production of La Bohème – the latter being an unabashedly realistic interpretation that had charmed and satisfied Covent Garden audiences for over 40 years, happily showcasing many of the era’s greatest singers along the way. I wonder whether Jones’ version – stylistically quirky and emotionally oblique as it is – will enjoy the same success or longevity.  It’s not one of his best shows.”

The Times: **** “Georg Solti used to reminisce about opera performances in prewar Budapest at which at least half the cast would meet each other for the first time on stage during the show. Something of the same atmosphere is starting to permeate this run of the Royal Opera’s La bohème.”

Bachtrack: *** “Is it unfair to accuse the Royal Opera of playing it safe with this staging? After all, La bohème is a top ten opera and a production like this, which is thoroughly competent in all respects, is going to keep a lot of the audience more than satisfied. Those of us who have seen the opera many times in many guises hope for something more to lift the evening out of the routine.”

The Reviews Hub: **** “It’s likely this version of La bohème will continue for another few years. No one can tell if they’re going to have as much success with casting and conducting in future, but this time around at least they’ve come out strong and produced something beautiful, impactful and musically wonderful.” “The conductor Emmanuel Villaume brings real authority to the pit driving on the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House engaging us from the off and keeping the narrative tension just right, supporting the singers but also structuring the passion of this music so that we can get swept away into the luxuriousness of its depth and feeling, almost making up for the bare-bones and detachment on stage.”

La Boheme continues to play at the Royal Opera House.

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