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(Credit: Royal Opera House / Tristram Kenton)

This review is intended for presentation on January 10, 2020.

Along with the classic production of Richard La's La Traviata, Richard Jones's La bohème is an important weapon in the Royal Opera's arsenal, and will therefore have 16 meetings this year with multi-castings and three conductors.

This is the second Renaissance since the fall of 2017, with the production of ONEs on stage, replacing John von Copley's beloved 40-year staging with luxurious period details and a determined naturalist. Approach brings a significant break with the past in its approach, pointing to business-minded opportunities, even though it is an obvious show that responds to the need for regular revival and attractive width.

Ost frost reflection

The main idea of ​​the play is quite promising and operates consistently at different levels of production, even if it feels a little deviated from the priorities above. Jettisoning Copley's realism for a more pronounced and emotionally frozen reflexivity, is ons wants to remind us of the artistry and stability of this work. Unscrupulous filmmakers visibly move packs like rows that gather at the back of the stage as the show goes on, and the glaring illumination of the action — one overhead — ignores the naturalistic illusion as well as calculated minimal processes.

The enlightenment of rock opera, which sometimes catches the attention of the audience on stage, may be a little too much for the message to realize that it is an opera for artists and for the art itself, but a rather clever metaphor that works with the text. than against it.

Rakish Schaunard, who plays himself, can't help but utter "La commedia è stupenda!" In "Acting Two" as Marcello and Musetta play their melodrama. In the hands of one of Ons, the scene honored Colin with a mockery of Rodolfo's "wasteful, fragile drama" that made them warm to themselves in "Act One". And the deliberate stage acting of the boys in "Fun Four", amused by the explosion, underscores the fact that in the picaresque source, Henry Mourger's "Scènes de la vie de bohème", four of them are not even really poor students, other than really poor students. . For them, the whole world is really a phase.

This idea extends into the characterization and is more fun to warm up to, which can sometimes feel far-fetched. When Marcelo paints his Red Sea on the top of the opera, his brushes work on an invisible fourth wall that separates the audience from the stage. In the second act, the choir also pleads with the public directly when it encapsulates their belongings, presumably reminding them of the eye-popping amounts of money they had exchanged for tasting la vie bohemia. Colline's coat is a red military number from a dress box or even Sgt. Pepper, rather than a kind of library stuff.

(Credit: Royal Opera House / Tristram Kenton)

Complex and fast features

Simona Mihai comes off the bench for an upset Sonya Yoncheva. She is a production veteran herself, sang it during her first Renaissance last year and seems to be well-versed in movement and characterization, quite commendable given her brief notice. he is going to sing Musetta later in this stage of this performance. The old character is human and fast, whose deep dramatic waves create a powerful contrast with the deliberate superpower of Musetta.

Vocally, the picture was more mixed. The Mihai could be tangible and easily slippery at the top and struggled to find very dynamic flexibility. His legato was prone to neglect and wanted to lubricate the Mi chiamano Mimì.

His best song undoubtedly came in Actions Three and Four, most notably his spring solo with Charles Castronovo's Rodolfo, noting the moments of translucency and fragility so important to the characters.

Castronovo was definitely having a better evening, even if the steel in his velvet voice became pretty blunt instrument spots. He certainly had a lot of fun in the first scene, and was boisterous all the time, and the sound remained appropriately fresh and vibrant.

That it is not the most rounded or adventurous character of the character does not help the production, which seemed shy to explore the more ambiguous or anxious aspects of the character, in particular its jealousy, quick temper, and inability to cope with Mimi's disease. .

(Credit: Royal Opera House / Tristram Kenton)

Castronovo found a strong entertaining partner in Marcelo's Andreas Ziloshicki, navigating the treacherous upper echelon with glittering swine bags, and his action was a strongly convincing landscape. He did well on two occasions to respond to the Musetta surpluses without taking everything from above. He had to be unwise to coincide with her without the show being completely self-contained, and in the act their chemistry was three. great.

Speaking of Musetta, she enjoys production as an opera singer in opera, so no dramatic luxury was too much. Aida Garifulina, in her home debut, forced Musetta's pans and knitwear to throw away the delicate salt, and she obviously relaxed while filming the scenery in a performance that cared not for a delicious or artificial look.

But casting a colorful picture like Garifulina, as Musetta reflects a more traditional, heavy-handed temptation that characterizes the hero for deceit, more whimsical and malicious. After all, it works well, with the show's emphasis on the unselfish playfulness of its brand and the flamboyant artificiality of the whole area.

Peter Kellner's Colline was a peculiarly vibrant image of the character, both vocally and dramatically, filling his face with earthly beats as the chaos unfolded around him. One wonders if there is an impression of Carl Marx in the picture. The philosopher was infamous, often pushing his possessions and recognizing his victories.

Stewart Laing's design has a few clever touches besides, which is a relatively traditional look. The two sets of sets are in stark contrast to the rather frosty alleyway floor or the terrific entrance to the city entrance, acting in three, with acres of snow.

Rectangular boxes of law, two arches and a cafe Momus positively associate with life. «Quanta folla! As it is said in the text, and bursting with energy, they are all based on the choir and actor-driven melancholy. But at the edges of the broken arches and behind the café windows the darkness of the abyss blows, as if to remind you that this is just so much empty fun.

Emmanuel William spent crisp, even without breathing, intensity and focus. Opening poles are rare, with this slippery slippery skirt underneath, so well coordinated in the lower part. Sometimes the excitement overwhelmed the band, and in the first act there were problems with balance, the singers getting lost in a strong and leaking sound.

The fast-paced performance left the audience by ten o'clock in the evening, but it wanted sophistication and transparency, and greater possibilities for Puccini's delicately carved details and orchestral combinations.

It's hard to call this an instant classic of the night, but there were undeniably some elements that emphasized why this "Bohemian" is such an important part of the Royal Opera House.

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