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BrumHour saw La boheme at the invite of Welsh National Opera and Birmingham Hippodrome.
For Brum Radio’s Interval Theatre, performer Elin Pritchard spoke about her role in La bohème. Listen below:
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
This production contains inferred smoking and drinking on stage.
Review: La bohème – Welsh National Opera at Birmingham Hippodrome
Revival Director: Caroline Chaney, Original Director: Annabel Arden, Conductor: Pietro Rizzo
Rodolfo (Jung Soo Yun) and Marcello (Rodion Pogossov) have been struggling to heat their rented space, burning paper to keep warm, then Schaunard (Benson Wilson) and Colline (David Shipley) arrive with some food and drink. The landlord appears demanding rent and they apparently blackmail him into three months of rent paid for.
Rodolfo is then alone in the rented space and Mimi (Elin Pritchard) appears, she lives elsewhere in the building. Mimi says that her candle has blown out, even though we see her blow the candle out. There is an attraction between her and Rodolfo. But Mimi is sick and in these times, her chances of getting well are slim.
The setting of Paris being sung in Italian by a Welsh opera is typically international in scope for Welsh National Opera and this is a serious and dramatic story at its core, there is much lightness and plenty of humour to be found in the performances.
Despite a couple of moments where the vocals are drowned by the huge orchestra, the story is told with confidence and style. Elin Pritchard is particularly good as Mimi as is Aoife Miskelly as Musetta, there’s a real ensemble feel to the piece, particularly in the second of the four acts. I also loved Jung Soo Yun as Rodolfo, the venerable financially stuffed young man looking for artistic success and afraid of love.
The sets are mainly static with moving elements, t by flexible enough to be effective as indoor and outdoor spaces, there’s also plenty of projected visuals to add depth to the huge Hippodrome stage.
La bohème is an opera that I’d always fancied seeing and despite its slightly heavy tone, I really enjoyed the performances and the storytelling.
Beautifully told, La bohème is at Birmingham Hippodrome until 11th November 2022, and is part of the Autumn Season of Welsh National Opera which also includes Migrations on Saturday 12th November. Book tickets here: birminghamhippodrome.com/calendar/wno-la-boheme, and find out more about Welsh National Opera here: wno.org.uk.