Having already conducted Madama Butterfly and Tosca for the company, Tobias Ringborg returned to New Zealand Opera this autumn to conduct La bohème . Yet again, audiences and critics reacted enthusiastically to his performances:
"Tobias Ringborg’s superb conducting allowed the orchestra to swoon where necessary but without giving in to undue sentimentality. Overall, the crowd scenes in the central acts and the byplay between the bohemians was handled swiftly and due emphasis given to comic moments. Puccini’s little pictoral touches, such as the pizzicato falling of snow or the crackling of the flames consuming Rodolfo’s play, were consistently brought out to striking effect. Ringborg was more flexible in the showstopping moments for the singers, allowing Devoe in particular to fill out her rapturous lines. The orchestra too was in ecstatic form, ably supporting this highly appealing performance of Puccini’s masterpiece."
Simon Holden, Bachtrack ****
"Tobias Ringborg, in his third Puccini outing with the company, sweeps this fine quartet along in the irresistible momentum created by Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra."
William Dart, NZ Herald
"The APO played beautifully under the baton of Tobias Ringborg without succumbing to sentimental excess. The playing and singing during the gloomy Act III in particular was full of contrasts and subtleties that avoided obvious musical or theatrical gestures and clichés."
Peter Hoar, Radio New Zealand
"But the clincher is the conducting of Tobias Ringborg. He guides the production with a sure sense of style, drawing some superb playing from Orchestra Wellington, not afraid to occasionally overpower the singers as Puccini clearly intends, and generally marshalling the emotional highs and lows in masterly fashion. This should not be missed."
John Button, Stuff
"With Tobias Ringborg conducting the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra, Puccini’s music soars, each nuance of that often complicated but overwhelming joyful emotion called love exquisitely handled. Gorgeously atmospheric and completely engrossing, this is a triumphant performance that cannot be missed."
Sarah Kidd, Ambient Light
"One cannot overlook the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra led by Tobias Ringborg (conductor) who in my opinion, delivers one of the most spectacular musical performance that I can remember ever seeingat the Aotea Centre."
Jarred Tito, Libel
"Throughout, the orchestra accompanied with the utmost sensitivity, Tobias Ringborg and his players completely at one with the onstage ebb-and-flow of incident and emotion, and making the most of even incidental-sounding sequences, such as the beautiful colourings from the wind and brass in the passage immediately following the bohemians’ teasing calls to their recalcitrant colleague, about to declare his love to his new-found companion."
Peter Mechen, Middle-C
You can see Tobias speak about the production and his love for Puccini here.