With monetary collapse so quite simply on the horizon, a lesser director may have succumbed and presented up a 'relevant' recent treatment. It is to Miller's credit (and one within the eye to these critics who so mechanically deplore his smugness) that he now not simplest have shyed away from this dramatic useless end, however eschewed the self-conscious cleverness of Cos or Rigoletto, as an alternative handing over an understated, unobtrusive, 1930s Bohme that decorously whispers, slightly than screams, 'classic'.
Wearing its Depression-era lightly, Isabella Bywater's muted palette and (mobile) set lends a unprecedented team spirit to the opera's 4 acts, so regularly plunged from dusty penury to obtrusive technicolour for the Caf Momus episode of Act Two. Her consumers are festive, her children freshly scrubbed, however there may be not one of the twee jollity that haunts John Copley's production up the road (and only a gesture of a snowfall). By the similar token her Bohemians, neither threadbare destitutes nor artistically baggy posturers, are merely scruffy and collectively in need of a hairbrush.
Revolving well to show Caf and Inn, the set's more than one levels position its young artists in a first-floor garret, a great deal assisting the singers with the now not inconsiderable factor of projecting over the enthusiastic orchestra. The upper storey did further provider all over Act Three's charged war of words among Mimi and Rodolfo. A lit window and gauzy curtain revealed the semi-clad figures of Marcello and Musetta, reconciling and fighting within the brazenly physical, explicit method that their opposite numbers fail at such wonderful musical duration to achieve.
With Broadway darling Alfie Boe returning to sing Rodolfo for only a handful of performances in January, the role is currently occupied through the exceptional Gwyn Hughes Jones. Matching a voice of crooning roundedness on the stave with all-out power above it, his Pinkerton woes had been cleaned inside of moments. There was once no hint of tightness or rigidity thru a performance whose puppyish vulnerability was once a shocking bonus on most sensible of such vocal authority. 'Che gelida manina' neither lingered nor indulged, however poured certainly out. Perhaps the true top element however was once the Act Four duet 'O Mimi, tu piu non torni', where, egged on through Roland Wood's resonant baritone, he was once in the end in a position to unencumber his complete lyric force.
'This is a Bohme for those who hate Bohme'
La Boheme broadway musical tickets are now available for Denver for Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Detroit for Detroit Opera House, New York for Metropolitan Opera and London for London Coliseum.
Supported through Wood (whose Act Four fandango was once so enthusiastic as to risk the health of Bywater's elegant set) along with George von Bergen's fantastically sung Schaunard, an inspired cockney turn from Simon Butteriss (Benoit) and a slightly woollier Colline from Pauls Putnins, the power among the buddies was once comfy and believable. In-jokes, pranks and baguette-duelling introduced a lot to the charm of the opening act, offsetting the opera's lingering decline with mild pathos.
Fresh from victory in ultimate year's inaugural Voice of Black Opera Competition, and making her ENO debut, was once Elizabeth Llewellyn as Mimi. A spinto soprano of unusually darkish tone, her lined sound and vowels aren't at their best possible against the ringing brightness of Jones's Rodolfo. Although indubitably possessed of both the facility and range for the role, her Mimi as yet remains one thing of a cipher, failing to articulate the arc among mild coquette and maligned blameless that she should tread. Balanced for tone through Mairead Buicke's solid Musetta, the vocal laurels for the night time had been indubitably with the men, and it was once arduous not to long for a return of 2009's Melody Moore and Hanan Alattar to match them.
After a promising dervish of a start from the pit, Stephen Lord and his musicians settled into a colourful, if every so often not up to sprightly, rendition. Thwarted on more than one occasion through singers declining to linger, no doubt the pace and tone of proceedings will settle into team spirit as the run continues.
Neither chocolate box nor squalid bedsit, Miller's production makes nuanced experience of what can so easily develop into an opera of number one colours. With a strong ensemble cast, poised orchestral playing and no mawkish excesses of sentiment, it is a Bohme for those who hate Bohme. For individuals who love it, it's a treat. La Boheme broadway musical tickets are now on sale for Denver for Ellie Caulkins Opera House, Detroit for Detroit Opera House, New York for Metropolitan Opera and London for London Coliseum.