Review Round Up: La Bohème, Royal Opera House

We take a look at what critics have had to say about this revival of Richard Jones’s version of Puccini’s opera.

(c)Tristram Kenton

Broadway World: **** “All in all, this is a production that works with, rather than against, the opera. It lets the comedy flow well and give the audience a necessary rest from the pathos of the love story while also not being too overbearing as to drown it out. As such, this is a powerful rendition of one of Puccini’s finest, and it’s guaranteed to please most audiences.”

The Guardian: *** “With Kevin John Edusei conducting there is no shortage of detail and the orchestra often sounds sumptuous, yet some of the quicksilver flow goes missing: you can hear the cogs in the music turning, just as you can see the stage-hands moving the sets.”

Evening Standard: *** “Flórez acquits himself well, blending restraint and caressing warmth, even if he’s not the most natural actor. Elsewhere, when he lets rip, his voice can take on a hard edge.”

The Times: *** “Four revivals in five years may suggest that Richard Jones’s production of La bohème is an artistic success. Puccini’s opera certainly is: what would opera companies needing full houses do without it? But renewed acquaintance with the staging, currently peopled by several singers with question marks hovering over their heads, has made me realise that it’s not ageing well.”

London Unattached: “Conductor Kevin John Edusei started off at a brisk pace and focussed more on keeping up the dramatic pace rather than milking the emotion. Sometimes the strings, providing a gorgeous lush backdrop to the drama, overwhelmed the singing. The orchestra was matched by the power and precision of the Royal Opera Chorus adding a hefty vocal punch to the wonderfully staged crowd scenes and special mention must again go to the well-drilled children of the Cardinal Vaughan and The Grey Coat Hospital schools who added a youthful vigour and charm to the proceedings.”

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