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Survey results


In addition to the usual Jury ratings we also conduct a survey into whether Jury members want to see this production again, would buy or recommend the disc and how they feel it compares with “being there”.


Here are the main findings for this production:


"Would you like to see this production again, on TV or in  the cinema?"
32 % answered "Certainly" or "Probably"

"Will you add this DVD/Blu-Ray to your own collection?"
21 % answered "Certainly" or "Probably"

Will you recommend this DVD/Blu-Ray to your family and friends?"
28% answered "Certainly" or "Probably"


And finally,

"How does this HD experience compare with attending a live performance?"

A notable 68% answered "Significantly better, rather better or comparable.











This production of La Boheme from Oslo makes a major impact on audiences. And the OperaDou Jury was no exception. The sense of surprise – and even of shock – was almost tangible.

La Boheme is an opera most of us have seen a good many times. So many in fact, that we may only have a vague recollection of the more conventional stagings… But one thing the OperaDou Jury was unanimous about—this was the most memorable production of the work they had ever seen! They also spoke with a single voice when it came to the singing, commending the very high all-round vocal standard”.


It was of course the “transposition” which drew criticism from some Jury members, with its deliberately controversial ploy of substituting Mimi’s “consumption” for terminal cancer and having the underlying presence of death appear in various guises. This aspect of the production resulted in quite a heated debate, stirring up some strong feelings as our video reveals… So it would be true to say that not only was this a highly memorable production for everyone, it was also one which generated a great deal of passion. Which is, after all, what opera is all about!


For a further insight into this unique production, read this interesting comment from the Wagneropera site:

With the new production of Puccini's La Bohème in Oslo Stefan Herheim and his team reaches a new high in terms of innovative reading of a work everyone thought they knew. Herheim's La Bohème is heartbreaking and grotesque; images of death are always present. And everything is in the score and the libretto.

Read the full review here:


Comments from OperaDou Jury members:


I very much liked this mixture of the fantastic (evoking Tim Burton and James Ensor) and romanticism. The orchestra and singers are perfectly in line with this. I gradually got involved and was very moved although not immediately.


« J’ai bien apprécié le mélange de fantastique (à la Tim Burton et James Ensor) et de romantisme. L’orchestre et les chanteurs sont parfaitement en accord. Je me suis laissé émouvoir peu à peu mais pas immédiatement. »


BRAVO for the second half with Acts 3 and 4! Not too sure about the first half, especially the concept and the characters of Rodolfo and Mimi. Rather too much pathos for my taste. The lighting was excellent.


« Les chanteurs sont excellent, mais je trouve la mise en scène très artificielle, inutilement sinistre et compliqué… »


Surprising stagng – to say the least! Makes it less romantic than a conventional production, but on the other hand it comes across as more realistic and powerful. I was much more moved by the second half. Interpretation and singing first class. Beautiful images, very well filmed – and the sound was vivid and realistic.


« C’est surprenant et peu romantique – les voix sont belles, mais le lieu est terrifiant… »

Highly original. A way of presenting a very well known opera in a modern way. This approach draws us into the suffering and the environment and the medical care that goes with it. Treating death from our viewpoint is a very interesting idea. The scenes where we see the hospital bed or the patients help us understand  the torments of Rodolfo – who loves Mimi while at the same time suffering as he sees the illness and fears death and the inevitable separation…

« Mise en scène surprenante, moins romantique que le classique, mais plus réaliste et forte. La deuxième partie m’a beaucoup plus touchée. Interprétation très bien et qualité d’images excellentes. »

Beautiful music making. The voices of Mimi and Rodolfo are magnificent, even if Rodolfo’s acting isn’t always as good as his singing. The staging is rather unsettling but very well done.”

« La mise en scène rend l’histoire difficile à comprendre. Elle est assez choquante et heurte ceux qui ont une expérience de la maladie (cancer). Les voix des chanteurs étaient très belles, celle de Musetta en particulier, très presente en scéne. Le mouvement des décors était techniquement époustouflant. »


“Offbeat staging which is surprising and at times seems overdone. However, the voices are wonderful. There are also some very impressive lighting effects and a wonderful use of colour.” 

« Etonnant, décalé, voir provoquant. J’ai du mal à comprendre la partie pris de la mise en scéne entre le médical du XXIeme siécle et la vision romantique de Montmartre au XIXeme siécle! Mais malgré tout, cela interpelle…. ! »

Very clever staging. What I understood was the representation of an all-pervading fear of death that hangs over our existence. Particularly that of the cruel sickness of cancer. This production admirably revealed the student’s discovery of love, tragically blended with the relentless onset of death…




Jury ratings:
Production, staging, lighting: C+

Singing / performance: A

HDVD production: A-


Overall ranking: B+




A French video crit. plus a Jury debate on this thought-provoking production.

With English subtitles

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Mimi (Marita Sølberg) controlled by Death in the character of the Drum Major (Svein Erik Sagbråten) in La Bohème, Act 2