La bohème 2011
Your reviews of the Tour 2011 revival production
An opera beautifully sung. Very disappointed in the set. A plumbers basement is no substitute for an artist's attic.
John C Phillips 30th November 2011
We watched La bohème last night at The Theatre Royal Plymouth,
we thought it was outstanding!! The cast were sensational with beautfiful singing. The second act in particular was truely amazing. Thank you for this wonderul opera, you should all be very proud of your hard work.
Linda Hughes 26th November 2011
Wonderful performance last night in Plymouth. Great realisation and imagination- the modern set worked well and the drug taking finally explained the dance scene.
My sons who thought they hated opera were surprised, delighted and transfixed.
Thank you for one of those experiences that will stay with me for a along time.
Elpollard 26th November 2011
Absolutely sublimely wonderful. Bryan Hymel and Keri Alkema so moving as Rodolfo and Mimi. How do they sing like that when they're sitting down? How does she sing and act so well when lying flat? How is that possible? Perfectly supported by Vincenzo, Lukas and Nicholas. The modern setting worked absolutely fine for me - and the cocaine-taking seems appropriate for the characters (try and find a picture of Puccini without a cigarette dangling from his lips). The modern clothes allowed the performances and emotion to shine through. My best night in the theatre in the last 58 years...
Lance 19th November 2011
La bohème did not transfer to Modern Day, the romance was gone, dying of consumption not very realistic. Glorifying drug taking as an every day occurance today, was not acceptable. I feel you were lucky to get away with it, as my party did not notice. I was very unhappy with the performance, it needed to be in costume, the scenery I have seen before, the costumes did not take me into another world, I felt that the recession was on stage, we deserved better. The people on stage deserved better. You have lost me as a future customer.
Anonymous 16th November 2011
I can sympathise with Jonathanwinter's frustration. Like him, for me most opera means an overnight stay + two day's annual leave. However I live quite local to Stoke so was delighted to find La bohème on GOT's itinerary. I was so pleased that I didn't have to use any of my leave & that I'd actually be able to get home the same evening, I've booked both performances! Really looking forward to it.
Anonymous 3rd November 2011
Best-acted and most emotional and moving performance I have seen. What a difference to the old days, when overweight singers just stood there facing front! At the end, not a dry eye in the house. Thought the modern setting worked well. All credit to all involved.
Ian Harris 3rd November 2011
The best bohème I have ever seen and I shall try to come again in the summer.
I have read the negative crits posted and do not agree. I had no problem with the modern setting or the coke-sniffing (Who are these guys? Of course they would.), mobile phones not intrusive (that must be a first). Cafe scene brilliant. Well done and thank you.
Alan Shrimpton 2nd November 2011
Wonderful music and singing. Horrid production. I never want to see that modern interpretation again!
Anonymous 2nd November 2011
I was disappointed as to me La bohème is a tragic love story and sadly this modern day version did nothing for me...at times it became a comedy. The opening scene showing poster of Father Christmas was, I felt, totally inappropriate. The singing was glorious as was the orchestra and at times to close ones eyes and listen was pure magic.
Anonymous 1st November 2011
I had never seen La bohème before although I knew the music. The cast and orchestra were fabulous and we thoroughly enjoyed the evening. The singing was magnificent - I was amazed how the leads managed to deliver from a range of non-standing positions from kneeling to fully prone. However, we thought that the modern setting just did not work, partly because we like to see traditional costumes and scenery, but also we wondered who would be dying of consumption today and not have the support of the NHS? Also why worry about burning a script when you have the original on the laptop? Sorry to be such a realist and thank you for whetting my appetite for more opera.
Lucy Walden 1st November 2011
Sadly I think I must have missed something with this current production, first of all the set and costumes did nothing for me. The singing was good, but there was no emotion or passion between them and did not make me feel as though it was heart wrenching sadly the production I saw at the English National Opera was by far the best to date. Sorry Glyndebourne.
G. Ryder 1st November 2011
A wonderful production. I am very much hoping to see it again next year.
Desmond Clarke 1st November 2011
Modern production worked for me - the more traditional version was becoming boring. Mimi and Rudolpho were exceptional. Their interpretations avoiding full on bellowing and singing with great sensitivity. I struggled to avoid copying the tears of the lady next to me but the hairs on the back of my neck - always a reliable judge for me, just stood up and trembled.
I've heard Alagna and Geoghiu sing these roles - in Turin - and they did not give the same "wow" factors as these two.
Orchestra worked very sensitively with the singers -great conducting. Minor criticism - what were the chorus supposed to be doing at end of Cafe Momus scene with their backs to audience seemingly very confused. Musetta and Marcello maintained the high standard of singing. Also, one scene at the end was played too close to the edge of stage left meaning good sight-lines for audience right was impaired.
Derek Cooper 28th October 2011
Loved the production, eight out of ten, the singing was great. On balance I think I prefer the traditional setting although this was very good. Perhaps I missed the point but I did not see what the setting added to the performance other than a break with tradition as with having the stage hands on stage with the performers rather than closing the curtains and opening again once you have made the set change.
Anonymous 26th October 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed my first Glyndbourne experience.this was the best production of La bohème I have ever seen,the singing was magnificent.the modern production enhanced it for my daughter and I.
Bill Kempshall 26th October 2011
Mildmay food exceptional
Interval drinks a complete nightmare, but if that is all there is to worry about then...
Anonymous 26th October 2011
The singing was magnificent although I think the costumes worked against the acting on occasions. Whilst I`m very happy to see productions in more modern settings, I felt that on this occasion the set looked just too scruffy. I also felt that in the cafe scene with Musetta that the ordinariness of design meant that an element of romance was lost. Hrusa's conducting was however superb and Puccini won out in the end anyway.
Anonymous 25th October 2011
I greatly enjoyed the performance and the glorious setting amongst the Sussex Downs. Orchestra and music simply magnificent, singing of highest standard. Slight disappointment with the comtemporary setting of the work. It seems to me that, if a work is moved away from its original time, then the onus is on the producer to make it as least as convincing in the new setting. The third act in particular failed in this respect. The delicate opening music jarred against the harsh metal gates on the stage. Also there was so much "business" in the background during Act 2 that I lost focus on the main characters. However, with Puccini's music in the air such criticisms were quickly forgotten. Thanks for a good day.
Bernard Haigh 18th October 2011
This production of La bohème was really very good, and I am thinking of returning with a friend , so they can enjoy it too. Everything was right. Bravo!
Nick of Wye 18th October 2011
I took along a friend who said he had been to quite a few operas over many years, but it had never really worked for him. After this one on Saturday he said 'Yes, I've got it now'. That's how good this was - stock up on your hankies though!
Simon 18th October 2011
Funny, charming, sad and beautiful all in one night!
Mandy 18th October 2011
A truly wonderful experience in every sense! Can't wait for my next visit and can't believe that it could ever be better. Sincere thanks to the cast and orchestra and for a very special performance.
Jeanne Adkins 17th October 2011
Gestatten Sie mir auf Deutsch meiner Begeisterung Ausdruck zu verleihen: diese Produktion war von der ersten bis zur letzten Minute erfüllt von einer hinreißenden Spielfreude, auf künstlerisch kaum zu überbietendem Niveau. Die jungen Sängerinnen und Sänger, der Chor und Kinderchor und das fabelhaft aufgelegte Orchester haben unter dem ebenso jungen Jacub Hrusa musikalisch makellos und schauspielerisch brillant eine Aufführung abgeliefert, die wirklich keine Auge trocken ließ. David McVicar's Inszenierung wirkte so taufrisch wie neu geboren. Gratulation! Ich möchte auch nicht vergessen den pre performance talk zu loben, der uns in seiner amüsant darbebotenen Art Art Erhellendes vermittelt hat.
Matthias von Hülsen 17th October 2011
Absolutely brillant production, wonderful singers and orchestration!
Anonymous 17th October 2011
An emotional roller coaster; the best acting I have seen in an Opera for 20 years. Such a youthful and passionate cast. Wonderful directing: the second act was masterfully complex. Our party of four agreed this was possibly the best Opera experience of our lives.
Anonymous 17th October 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed the performance.I do not usually like productions transposed to the present day but for the first time saw the value of this.
Act 2 was a masterpiece and I feel I would need to see this several times to get the full benefit as there was just so much going on.
However, I did not like the scene which involved sniffing cocaine and thought it entirely gratuitous as did other people I have spoken to.
I attended with my elderly mother and fortunately she did not realise what was going on. As the vast majority of the audience were not young I suspect it went over the heads of a lot which merely confirms that there was no need for it.
Anonymous 17th October 2011
Saturday's performance of La bohème has to be high up on my list of the best production of anything I have seen. Modern productions can often lose the magic of operas, but this was wonderful. Good to see several new faces and all with stunning voices. The meeting of Mimi and Rodolfo in Act I was so touching and quite magical, enhanced by the beautiful playing by the orchestra. This will live with me for along time. Thank you all involved in this superb production.
Pam Hunter 17th October 2011
Fully agree with the enthusiastic comments above - merely want to add that we thought the production itself - so successfully updated to contemporary reality - was brilliant.
Emanuel and Pola de Kadt 17th October 2011
A wonderefully moving and dramatic production, which looks as fresh now as when it was first staged eleven years ago. Everyone sang incredibly well and completely inhabited their characters.
I now find it difficult to imagine a convincing bohème in 19 th century costume.
Congratulations to everyone concerned; I can only guess at the amount of effort and hard work that goes into producing such an evening.
Brian Stevenson 16th October 2011
Saturday's production of bohème was without doubt the best we have ever seen. Rodolfo in particular stood out, but all the cast were superb and Hrusa's conducting was brilliant. Not a dry eye in the house at the end, it was emotionally exhausting! Thank you and hope the other 2 productions will be as good.
Rachel Hay 13th October 2011
We brought along two lifelong opera fans from the Midlands who have both "performed" in the past. We all felt that this was the best production we have seen in 35 years of coming to Glyndebourne. It could not be faulted and the Christmas scene at the end of Act 2 will long remain in our memories.
Barrie Gent 11th October 2011
Spectacular, moving and beautifully sung. The best production of La bohème I have ever seen.
Anonymous 11th October 2011
We were a party of 8 aged 28 to 88. and all were enthralled by the production.
Kenya TattonBrown 11th October 2011
Stunning production. Absolutely first rate. The principals were amazing. Thank you for such a wonderful experience!
Alex Johnson 11th October 2011
Quite the worst performance of La bohème I have heard. The two principles were just adequate with only the Musetta more than that.
The real problem was the direction-or lack of it. The cafe scene especially was completely unfocused with the cast behind the principles rushing around to no good purpose other than filling in time until the fire-eaters appeared.
How long was this performance in preparation?
Dr John Hart 11th October 2011
A wonderful production which sent shivers up my spine.
Many congratulations to you all.
Jonathan Cohen 11th October 2011
The performance was delicate and compassionate and performed and sung so beautifully. Thank you to the cast and to the orchestra for what was a really moving experience.
Jane Mottershead 11th October 2011
The best production of La bohème I have ever seen. The principles and the orchestra were superb. The sound of the voices and music filled the House and the effect of the music and the lyrics was very emotional.
John Hostettler 10th October 2011
Absolutely fabulous! the first time i have believed in the students' joie de vivre and despair! See this production if you can beg borrow or steal a ticket!
Anonymous 10th October 2011
I have seen la bohème many times in my life & i can truly say this production was one i will always remember. The cast were perfectly balanced, I would not pick out one over the over which can happen sometimes. I have had the good fortune of coming to glyndebourne on several occasions with a friend who is in the opera world, but never been to the winter productions. I have recently moved to east sussex so hope to be able to come more often under my own steam.
Keep up the good work & congratulations to you all.
Janet Lyon 10th October 2011
It was intended as a birthday treat - and what a treat it turned out to be! We enjoyed it immensely! The orchestra and singers were superb. Well done all!
Anonymous 10th October 2011
The opening night of La bohème was superb. I came out feeling that I had been right royally entertained and emotionally drained - which is as it should be.
Our party included my 94 year old father-in-law who, without being asked, said he could not remember a better evening's musical entertainment.
Congratulations to all concerned
Rodney Saunders 10th October 2011
A wonderful production & a successful transposition to contemporary times.
Anonymous 10th October 2011bo
La bohème opening night was totally sublime. Enjoyed every second. Bravo cast and orchestra!
Sheena Oaunounou 9th October 2011
Glyndebourne "abandoning opera lovers in the Potteries" by staging Puccini's glorious La bohème?! Pottiness is lurking in the Potteries I fear.
Anonymous 27th September 2011