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.

Current projects include a new production of Hänsel & Gretel for Bergen National Opera and an outreach production of Westside Story for Future Stages, to be seen in London and Manchester. Recent projects includes The Tempest for RADA, as well as a new production of Ravel’s L'Enfant et les sortilèges for the Opéra National de Lyon, in an innovative production conceived around animator Grégoire Pont’s projections. Other recent works include a critically-acclaimed The Tales of Hoffmann for English Touring Opera and Ariodante for the London Handel Festival.  

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

Handel: Ariodante, London Handel Festival, 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