B I O G R A P H Y
Director James Bonas has chosen to frame the piece in a fifties setting, including the checkered suit of conductor Stephen Higgins, the Witch Ingunn Kilen's huge hair and red American diner outfit… The set design and costumes were unconventional and creative. The idea of changing the witch's house to "Rosina's candy" - with a fifties style portrait of the witch - was a stroke of genius.
Hordaland, Hansel and Gretel, Bergen National Opera
James trained as an actor at RADA before developing a career as a director with interests ranging from classical theatre and contemporary opera to innovation in the use of video design and animation.
Recent work includes a double bill of Gianni Schicchi and Les Mamelles de Tiresias for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, a new production of L’Heure Espagnole for the Opéra National de Lyon, a staging of Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale for the BBC Proms at the Drill Hall in Lincoln, Hansel & Gretel for Bergen National Opera, a production of Westside Story for Future Stages in collaboration with RNCM, The Tempest for RADA, Ravel’s L'Enfant et les Sortilèges for the Opéra National de Lyon, and the Tales of Hoffmann for English Touring Opera.
Upcoming work includes Chabrier’s L’étoile with Lisbon’s Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos, Into the Woods for RADA, bringing a new ballet of The Crucible for Scottish Ballet by choreographer Helen Pickett and composer Peter Salem to open the Edinburgh International Festival 2019, a new opera titled The Silent City for Matera in Italy, the European Capital of Culture for 2019, as well as pieces with the BBC Proms, San Francisco Symphony, and the Royal Opera of Oman.
Previous work includes Ariodante and Giove in Argo for the London Handel Festival, as associate to Rufus Norris for Wonder.land for the National Theatre in London and the Théatre du Chatelet in Paris, associate director for The Death of Klinghoffer at the Metropolitan Opera in New York and the ENO in London, Jessica Swale’s play Blue Stockings for Babcock Theatre Utah, and the UK premiere of Jonathan Dove’s Seven Angels for the Royal College of Music.