Handel: Ariodante, London Handel Festival, 2016 (detail) View full image

James Bonas

© Shona Hamilton

An exceptional performance... Magical and mysterious, scary and grotesque, animated and playful. 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.

Thea Bergstrøm and Karianne Seim, Hordaland, Hansel and Gretel, Bergen National Opera, 2017

After studying psychology and philosophy in Oxford and performing as a classical pianist, James Bonas trained as an actor (RADA London) before developing a career as a director with a broad interest, ranging from classical theatre and contemporary opera to innovation in the use of video design and animation.

Highlights of 2018-19 include a new production of Ravel’s L’Heure espagnole for Opéra de Lyon featuring projections by animator Grégoire Pont and Chabrier’s L’étoile with Lisbon’s Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos.

Recent work includes a staging of Stravinsky's The Soldier's Tale for the BBC Proms at the Drill Hall, Lincoln, Hänsel & Gretel for Bergen National Opera, an outreach production of Westside Story for Future Stages in collaboration with RNCM, The Tempest for RADA and a new production of Ravel’s L'Enfant et les sortilèges for the Opéra National de Lyon, in an innovative production conceived around the projections of aforementioned animator Grégoire Pont.

Bernstein: West Side Story, Royal Northern College of Music, 2018

Ravel: L'enfant et les sortilèges, Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos, 2017

Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel, Bergen National Opera, 2017

Shakespeare: The Tempest, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, London, 2017

Ravel: L'enfant et les sortilèges, Opéra de Lyon, 2016

Händel: Ariodante, London Handel Festival, Royal College of Music, 2016

Offenbach: The Tales of Hoffmann, English Touring Opera, 2015

Handel: Giove in Argo, London Handel Festival, 2015

Ravel: L'enfant et les sortilèges, Royal College of Music, 2014

Gilbert and Sullivan: The Mikado, Co-Opera Company, 2013

Humperdinck: Hansel and Gretel, Co-Opera Company, 2012

Swale: Bluestockings, Babcock Theatre Utah, 2014

6 publicity photos