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Your Reaction: La bohème 2014

What did you think of John Copley's much-loved production of Puccini's great romance?

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

10 July 2014 at 10.17am | 6 Comments

What did you think of La bohème?

Last night's performance commemorated the 40th anniversary of John Copley’s production, and four decades of John and Anya Sainsbury’s generous support of the Royal Opera House through the Linbury Trust. La bohème runs until 19 July 2014. Some tickets are still available. It will be relayed live for free on BP Big Screens on Tuesday 15 July. Find out more. Next Season, the production runs 23 May-16 July 2015.

By Lottie Butler (Former Assistant Content Producer (News and Social Media))

10 July 2014 at 10.17am

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by John Copley, Charles Castronovo, Ermonela Jaho, La bohème, Production, Puccini, The Royal Opera, your reaction

This article has 6 comments

  1. bill worley responded on 11 July 2014 at 1:00pm Reply

    Bravo. A great evening at Covent Garden. At the beginning of the performance on Wednesday Kaspar Holten said how proud everyone was of the production. It begs the question "why are CG getting rid of it, In the interval I spoke to many regulars who were so pleased to see a great production after recent debacles.

  2. Ditlev responded on 13 July 2014 at 1:04am Reply

    I attended the Saturday performance and am afraid the whole thing felt rather ragged and under rehearsed as far as the principals were concerned. The male ensembles and crowd scenes were fine but both Grigolo and Gheorghiu suffered from obvious coordination problems with the pit, not helped by both singers' unwillingness or inability to actually follow Puccini's markings. Grigolo's voice has real ping and he is charismatic on stage, but the tone is unpleasantly forced, breath-control is poor and low notes are non-existent. And what of Angela Gheorghiu, the former house favourite? By the sounds of it, warming up has joined rehearsing as her least favourite activity. The first two acts were characterised by much unsupported crooning in the middle voice and some excruciatingly flat top notes; she warmed up to give a fine "Donde lieta" and was at her vocal best in Act 4 - alas, at the very moment when she needs to drain her voice of power to represent Mimi's growing frailty. The last three performances she's given at the house have all been so disappointing that I'm not sure I'll bother going again - the talent is still there, but presented so sparingly that I just leave feeling cheated and angry. The strongest singer was probably the Marcello, who had a beautifully even voice that he used with real taste.

    People seem to love this Copley production, but I always wonder - how does the door which characters use to exit the room actually fit into the stage picture? They're obviously in the rooftop so there couldn't be an internal staircase right next to the window - but has anyone ever seen an external staircase like that in Paris?

  3. Robert Moorhouse responded on 14 July 2014 at 8:14am Reply

    Forgive me for being a bit naive in the opera world and maybe this wasn't the best choice as first time Opera attendee. Having appraised myself of the storyline beforehand was looking forward to a bit of comedy and some epic tragedy on Sat (13th), sadly I got neither. Whilst the singing was very good in places and the sets wonderful I was surprised that the whole thing had a musical theatre almost pantomine quality not helped of course by the contrived disjointed plot lines of "Puccini's great Romance". Maybe it was just me, as everyone around me seemed to enjoy it, although at times they seemed to be talking complete twaddle, but all I seemed to get was a bunch of needy actors/singers milkng the applause at the end and the audience lapping it up. I'm afraid from where I was sitting it was a case of the Emperor's new clothes, all style and bluff and no substance. On a plus note though, the Opera house itself is a stunning venue and I would go again just to see it, maybe I should choose more wisely on the next Opera, what would you suggest?

  4. angela spain responded on 16 July 2014 at 10:09am Reply

    Was really looking forward to seeing Grigolo as Rodolfo in La Boheme (15th July performance). On average all performances were good, set productions stunning.
    Grigolo (I'm his biggest fan) sang beautifully, but on my way home afterwards didn't feel euphoric about my experience.
    I was hoping for that 3ft off the ground sensation.(It didn't happen) I think I have to agree with some of the comments already made.

  5. Sarah Jago responded on 18 July 2014 at 10:29am Reply

    Ermonela Jaho was wonderful last night as Mimi. Our 16 year old daughter sat ,seemingly spellbound, throughout the entire performance. She wants to come to the opera again!

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