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Past Production Reviews

La Bohème, Puccini
D: Jonathan MillerNatascha Metherell
C: Valentina Peleggi
Review: La Bohème, London Coliseum

The universality of its central themes of love and loss are easy enough to relate to; the Artistic Director of the ENO, Daniel Kramer, credits La Bohème’s prevailing popularity with the decision to restage its “near-perfect equilibrium between realism and romanticism, comedy and pathos, at whose heart lies the relationship between the forlorn couple of Rodolfo and Mimi”.https://www.ayoungertheatre.com/review-la-boheme-london-coliseum-3/

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30 November 2018www.ayoungertheatre.comAlannah Jones
Voices of doom

First seen in 2009, Miller’s Bohème nudges the action forward some 100 years to the ‘années folles’ of the 1920s. Café Momus becomes an edgy guinguette where Fitzgerald and André Breton might have traded writing tips with Rodolfo, and a Josephine Baker-esque Musetta (Nadine Benjamin) holds the stage. It’s a neat sleight-of-hand, nicely framed in Isabella Bywater’s revolving sets — an unobtrusive restoring of operatic order after Benedict Andrews’s teenage rebellion of a crack-den Bohème for ENO in 2015.

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08 December 2018www.spectator.co.ukAlexandra Coghlan
La Bohème, Puccini
D: Crispin LordJonathan Miller
C: Ben Glassberg
Jonathan Miller’s production of Puccini’s La bohème returns to ENO

As a result, the evening relied more on the fine Marcello and Musetta from Charles Rice and Louise Alder, who gave the tragedy the ring of truth, both revealed and camouflaged by their explosive relationship. Alder took charge of her Café Momus waltz with imperious ease, considerable humour and some impressive coloratura, while in Act Three Rice’s immensely likeable Marcello in fine acting and singing painfully got to the heart of the misery Mimì and Rodolfo are inflicting on each other – they can’t live with or without each other. Rice naturally took charge of the artist household, backed up William Thomas’s Colline and Benson Wilson’s Schaunard, both strongly characterised and sung.

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31 January 2022www.classicalsource.comPeter Reed
La bohème returns to ENO

Or maybe not, for one of the most impressive aspects was Ben Glassberg’s conducting, which revelled in Puccini’s Wagnerisms, memories of Tristan evoked quite magically in the first act, without taking for something they were not. The sounds extracted from the ENO Orchestra were often magnificent: a great dynamic range, from moments of hushed intimacy, to grand, declamatory gesture. But it was Glassberg’s pacing and his reconciliation of vocal and orchestral demands that marked this out most strongly. That was not all his doing, of course. Both orchestra and chorus—what a joy to see and hear a chorus, handled most resourcefully, onstage once again—deserved plaudits in their own right. String sheen and incisiveness, bubbling woodwind and chorus: these and more played their part in weaving an effervescent, yet ever-darkening dramatic tapestry.

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05 February 2022operatoday.comMark Berry