Chabrier: L'étoile Lisbon 2019 (detail) View full image

James Bonas

© Shona Hamilton

Bewitchingly good... Pickett and her artistic collaborator, the actor and director James Bonas, waste no time, grabbing us from the get go... Scottish Ballet has a hit on its hands.

The Times, The Crucible, Scottish Balley

Hats off to James Bonas for the flair and energy of his staging, which radiated visual imagination.

Andrew Clark, Opera, April 2019

James Bonas is a traditional storyteller for the modern era, combining imagination and intellect with a curiosity for technology and new forms, whether directing classical or contemporary theatre, opera, or dance. His most recent work in opera includes the French premiere of Abrahamsen’s Snow Queen for Opéra national du Rhin – winner of the French Critics Best Scenic Elements/Scenography award 2022 - and Jonathan Dove’s Flight for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In Spring 2023 he makes his German debut with Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos at Theater Magdeburg.

Bonas also works internationally in dance and collaborates regularly with choreographers including Helen Pickett and Sophie Laplane. With Helen Pickett he created an award-winning narrative ballet - The Crucible - for Scottish Ballet, which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival 2019, with further runs at Sadler’s Wells London, the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC and Nashville, Tennessee. With Sophie Laplane he created the celebrated short film Dive, also for Scottish Ballet, which has been featured in dance film festivals worldwide, including the 2021 Venice Biennale.

An advocate for multi-disciplinary performance, Bonas collaborated with Damon Albarn on the creation of Le Vol du Boli, an exploration of the complex and often brutal relations between Europe and West Africa, at the Théâtre du Châtelet. Appearing regularly at the BBC Proms, in 2022 he collaborates with Anthony Roth-Costanzo and ENO on Glass Handel at the Printworks in London.

Dove: Flight, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, 2022

Hans Abrahamsen: The Snow Queen, Opéra national du Rhin, 2021

Damon Albarn: Le Vol Du Boli, Théâtre Du Châtelet, 2020

Orff: Der Mond, Opéra de Lyon, 2020

Osborne: Silent City, Matera (European City of Culture), 2019

Berlioz, Symphonie Fantastique, BBC Proms, Aurora Orchestra, 2019

The Crucible: Scottish Ballet, Edinburgh International Festival, 2019

Sondheim: Into the Woods, RADA, 2019

Chabrier: L'étoile, Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos, Lisbon, 2019

Puccini: Gianni Schichi, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, 2019

Poulenc: Les Mamelles de Tirésias, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Glasgow, 2019

Ravel: L'Heure espagnole, Opéra National de Lyon, 2018

Stravinsky: A Soldier's Tale, BBC Proms, 2018

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

Swale: Bluestockings, Babcock Theatre Utah, 2014

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

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

6 publicity photos