Conductor Julia Jones has been praised for her interpretation of La bohème in a new production by Immo Karaman at Oper Wuppertal, where she is General Music Director.
"[The choir] mastered the rhythmical and, in their interplay between stage and pit not always easy, passages impeccably and with beauty of sound. General Music Director Julia Jones was at the helm of the Sinfonieorchester Wuppertal, which played mellifluously and with nuance; she showed a sure hand coordinating the difficult interplay between stage, the banda on one side of the dress circle and the pit in act 2, and throughout the entire evening she makes Puccini’s score breathe, glow and resound with her elegant conducting."
Sibylle Eichhorn, Das Opernmagazin
"What would La boheme be without the right musical foundations in the orchestra pit? Julia Jones is a painter-with-notes and a storyteller of impressive intensity. Her direction of the Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra illuminates the intricate details of the score in glorious colours… This is sublime and at any given moment a musical delicacy of the highest class. Especially celebrated for her interpretations of Italian music, Julia Jones is working her way into the Champions League of the European music scene. You have to ask, is there really nothing that lets this premiere of La boheme in Wuppertal down? Where are the inconsistencies, the mistakes, or drops in quality? They don’t exist, plain and simple!"
Ingo Luther, Klassik Begeistert
"… Add to this finely balanced, nuanced sounds from the orchestra pit: The symphony orchestra under the thoughtful conducting of Julia Jones plays sensitively. She breathes with the singers as she accompanies them, and carefully chooses sympathetic dynamics. It is no surprise that the audience responds with standing ovations."
Hartmut Sassenhausen, Westdeutsche Zeitung
"That Puccini’s hit opera La boheme does not dissolve into pure melodrama is due to the stylish musical performance as well as the smart scenic concept of this new production. Both General Music Director Julia Jones at the helm of Wuppertal Symphony Orchestra and the young, throughout excellent ensemble, as well as stage director Immo Karaman conceive the piece as what it is at its heart: an empathetic panorama of young people on the thorny way into adulthood."
Pedro Obiera, Westfälische Rundschau
Fantastic, too, is what the excellent symphony orchestra under Julia Jones is doing in the pit. Jones delicately traces many of the details [in the score]. In many of the passages which are usually overplayed with emotional exuberance, you can suddenly hear the sounds of metropolitan Paris - Puccini was much more modern in 1896 than is generally assumed. Many of the transitions are played with an immensely fine level of detail. When at the end of the second scene, for instance, the waltz segues into a march, but what we get here is different from the vast majority of performances: not a mere picturesque change of atmosphere, but an acoustic cue signalling the end of comfortableness. However, Julia Jones vividly portrays the great emotional outbursts, too. In short: both scenically and musically a great production; a must hear and see!
Stefan Schmöe, Wuppertaler Rundschau
After La bohème, Julia makes her house debut at Royal Danish Opera with Idomeneo.
Photo credit: Daniel Häker.