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. He read Psychology and Philosophy at Oxford University, prior to training as an actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London and developing his career as a director.

James Bonas’ recent work in opera includes Candide at Welsh National Opera in June 2023, with his regulator collaborator, animator Grégoire Pont. Other work together 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 Orff’s Der Mond and Ravel’s L’Enfant et les Sortilèges and L’Heure Espagno for Opéra de Lyonl. Their innovative approach has led to these works being seen around the world, including at Opéra de Lille, Royal Opera House Muscat, San Francisco Symphony and Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

In Spring 2023, Bonas made his German debut with Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos at Theater Magdeburg to critical acclaim. Other recent stagings include Jonathan Dove’s Flight for the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, the world premiere of a new community opera Silent City for Matera in Italy (European Capital of Culture) and Chabrier’s L’étoile at the Teatro Nacional de Sao Carlos (Lisbon).

Stravinsky: The Rite of Spring, BBC Proms, Aurora Orchestra, 2023

Bernstein: Candide, Welsh National Opera, 2023

Strauss: Ariadne auf Naxos, Theater Magdeburg, 2023

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