Jonathan Miller's 2009 La Bohème for the English National Opera reunites him with the designer Isabella Bywater, and with sets based on documentary photography of 1930s Paris by Brassai and Kertész.
Miller has a reputation for updating operas: his 1982 Mafiosi-style Rigoletto for the ENO, set in 1950s New York, transposed a scene to an all-night diner taken straight from Edward Hopper.
"...To those purists who avoid English-language versions of the great Italian operas, I can only say they'll be missing a truly unique performance of this Puccini masterpiece. Highly recommended! - Robert Cummings, Classical Net
"…Melody Moore as Mimi. This young lady is special. She has the most distinctive dark complexion to her voice and she sings and phrases with real fantasy. She alone really filled the house and hearing the voice open to greet the coming spring in her act one aria was for sure one of the high spots of the evening.
The other, of course, was that final scene. Miller played this very low key and for real with Moore extraordinarily convincing in catching the glacial calm of approaching death. She dies, of course, unnoticed - except by the orchestra - but in that final exchange of dialogue (a Puccini masterstroke) Alfie Boe's quiet disbelief was entirely unexpected and the more moving for it." - Edward Seckerson, The Independent
"Jonathan Miller has served the English National Opera well over the thirty years since his first work for the company. And this intelligent and understated Bohème looks set to be another invaluable asset in the company's repertoire...An ingenious set design by Isabella Bywater helps to create a production that is literally light on its feet. What we have, though, is a Bohème that takes us simply and unpretentiously to the work's heart. With a young, committed cast, it's a moving and thoroughly satisfying evening's theatre." - Hugo Shirley, Musicalcriticism.com
"As a staging, it has all the hallmarks of a future classic of the ENO repertoire. " - Ruth Elleson, Opera Today
© 2015 All rights Reserved