Tag Archives: Hye-Youn Lee

REVIEW: Scottish Opera La bohème – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

flea market scene la boheme scottish opera

A sharply crafted, visually stunning and beautifully sung La bohème is a triumphant finale to the 2016/17 Scottish Opera season.

The creative team of André Barbe and Renauld Doucet, last seen in 2014 with the glorious Don Pasquale, have taken Puccini’s masterpiece of Italian opera and reset it to the 1920s. The era of ‘The Lost Generation’, when the world’s creative souls converged on Paris to live the bohemian life among the flea markets, jazz clubs and free spirits.

woman and man mimi and rodolfo hye youn lee luis gomes la boheme

What the pair have achieved is to take the world’s most frequently performed opera, tone down the schmaltz and restore its humour and joie de vivre. Despite the frozen bohemians burning their books, the warmth of their spirits shine through in this production.

papier mache big head mannequins street scene christmas la boheme scottish opera

This is a production whose success is a result of a perfect coming together of all its parts: composer, conductor, cast, design, direction and orchestra. Vital and vibrant it is a winner in every area.

a woman in flapper dress atop a table in la boheme

There are a brace of fine vocal performances: Hye-Youn Lee is a vocally elegant Mimi with an incredibly ear-pleasing and distinctive tone. She perfectly expresses Mimi’s demise without descending into melodrama. Luis Gomes (Rodolfo) is a beautifully toned tenor, however, he is frequently overpowered by the orchestra and Jeanine de Bique is an eye and ear-catching, Josephine Baker-ish Musetta, complete with pet cheetah.

André Barbe’s set is a star in itself. Bristling with life, it is a lavish cacophony of colour and meticulous detail. You will be hard pressed to see a more visually stunning production all year.

This perennial favourite’s standing as the world’s most popular opera shows no sign of abating and this stunner of a production from Scottish Opera will live long in the memory. A stand-out 5 stars.

All images: Sally Jubb

Tours to Aberdeen, Inverness and Edinburgh – more information at: http://www.scottishopera.org.uk/



REVIEW: Madama Butterfly – Theatre Royal, Glasgow

The combination of one of the world’s most beloved operas and the perfect casting of South Korean soprano Hye-Youn Lee as Butterfly with a knock-out supporting cast, makes for an irresistible and unmissable night at the opera.

This timely revival (Miss Saigon based upon Puccini’s glorious work has newly opened in the West End) is a delight from beginning to end. On Yannis Thavoris’ clean, spare but effective set, the performers shine, in particular Miss Lee who in her highest range and in full voice manages to elicit many ‘hairs on the back of the neck’ moments. Lee is ably supported by Spanish tenor José Ferrero as Pinkerton and by a fine-voiced Christopher Purves as American Consul, Sharpless.

Packing as much emotional punch as it ever has, this is a fine revival by Scottish Opera and a fitting close to the Sring/Summer season.

Catch it if you can when it returns in the summer, more details here.