La Boheme production at Oxford's New Theatre image provide by Ellen Kent International

La Boheme production at Oxford's New Theatre image provide by Ellen Kent International

Europe / Events / Going Out / Opera / Oxford

La Boheme at the New Theatre Oxford

A review by Nicholas Newman

La Boheme is one of Puccini’s best operas, which is worth seeing again and again. It is brilliantly written and narrated and constructed in both its story and music.

This is a tale of love and loss, set in Paris of the 1830s, before the Eiffel Tower was built. It is packed with many popular songs that have been used in both films and advertising including Che gelida manina (Your Tiny Hand is Frozen), Sì, mi chiamano Mimì (They Call Me Mimi) and Quando me’n vo (Musetta’s Waltz).

Although this small touring production produced  and directed by Ellen Kent International is not as grand as what would appear at the heavily subsidised companies at Covent Garden or the Paris Opera Theatre, it’s essential elements are enjoyable, professional and workmanlike.

The cast is packed full of well-trained performers from all over Europe and beyond. The set is designed by Ukraine’s Nadia Svets, and the orchestra consists of musicians from both the Ukraine and Moldavia.

La Boheme at Oxford New Theatre image provided by Ellen Kent productions
La Boheme at Oxford New Theatre

But it would have been useful if the English surtitles had been a bit lower so that one could watch both the performance and read the translation of the Italian that the actors were singing in at the same time. And it was a disappointment that Elena Dee the Korean soprano in her iconic role as Mimi was not available, but fortunately celebrated international soprano Alyona Kistenyova was.

One thing is for certain this performance at Oxford’s New Theatre was  both entertaining and thoughtful, plus being a great night out.

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