thu 29/10/2020

La Bohème, English National Opera | reviews, news & interviews

La Bohème, English National Opera

La Bohème, English National Opera

Jonathan Miller's most understated production makes a triumphant return

Isabella Bywater's muted sets make for an unusually sober 'Bohème'Tristram Kenton

Debuting last February at the height of the economic crisis, Jonathan Miller’s freshly minted Bohème was a timely operatic glance in the social mirror. Almost two years on, and the hardships of his young Bohemians seem no less apt. With fiscal collapse so conveniently on the horizon, a lesser director might have succumbed and offered up a “relevant” contemporary treatment. It is to Miller’s credit (and one in the eye to those critics who so routinely deplore his smugness) that he not only avoided this dramatic dead end, but eschewed the self-conscious cleverness of Così or Rigoletto, instead delivering an understated, unobtrusive, 1930s Bohème that decorously whispers, rather than screams, “classic”.

Debuting last February at the height of the economic crisis, Jonathan Miller’s freshly minted Bohème was a timely operatic glance in the social mirror. Almost two years on, and the hardships of his young Bohemians seem no less apt. With fiscal collapse so conveniently on the horizon, a lesser director might have succumbed and offered up a “relevant” contemporary treatment. It is to Miller’s credit (and one in the eye to those critics who so routinely deplore his smugness) that he not only avoided this dramatic dead end, but eschewed the self-conscious cleverness of Così or Rigoletto, instead delivering an understated, unobtrusive, 1930s Bohème that decorously whispers, rather than screams, “classic”.

This is a Bohème for people who hate Bohème

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This production was on Sky Arts 2 as well. But was hosted by Penny Smith. WTF?

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