Friday, June 29, 2007

La bohème

I've just returned from an outdoor performance of Puccini's La bohème at Chiswick House. Staged by Garden Opera, it featured my friend Adrian Powter in the role of the painter Marcello. The cast shone vocally despite the threatening weather, but we avoided a downpour with about two drops of rain descending as Mimi faded in the closing moments. I could hear Charles and Camilla in the row behind (well, it sounded like them) commenting on their fine acting skills - no argument there: I loved the way they played up the comedy of Act I. The "orchestra" of six at stage left skilfully suggested a larger ensemble. The only other production I've seen was Baz Luhrman's at the Sydney Opera House, but this one walked all over it in delivery and credibility. The dropping outdoor temperatures in the Chiswich House gardens made us especially sympathetic to the bohemians in wintry Paris with their tiny frozen hands.


It really is a green room

There was a 40 minute intermission to allow picnickers to graze more noisily, and I wandered back stage to have a cuppa with some of the cast, and fellow Aussie, violinist Madeleine Easton.


  1. Adrian Powter10:59 am

    You're so lovely, Mike. Thanks for your kind words and I'm really grateful that you could come and support us in the open air. Outdoor opera in England is something quite perverse, I've always thought but you brought some Aussie dryness to the evening and kept the rain at bay. Lovely photos too, you've captured some nice moments. I particularly like the one of Anne Bourne (Mimi), Musetta & Alcindoro (Sally-Ann Shepherdson & Deryck Hamon) and the one you chose to put at the top with muggins in it. Next time bring Bondi with you. I'm sure he could have carried Musetta off at the end of Act II and stole the show! XXX

  2. Madeleine Easton10:24 pm

    HI there Mike! Adrian sent me the link to your website. I'm so glad he did coz I've read a little about your amazing journey with the equally amazing Bondi! It's a lovely website with some great pictures on it. God you're brave doing that and I have an enormous amount of admiration for what you're doing. People used to say I was brave moving over here to study etc not knowing a single soul when i arrived but that was nothing man! Anyway, thanks for coming to La Boheme, it was nice to hear some good feedback from it, you never really do as you just leave after every show and think about the next one!
    Anyway, if you fancy keeping in touch or just sending me updates of your remarkable journey, my email is