The Berkshire Opera's first production of Puccini's little masterpiece about love and friendship in the springtime of life succeeds under Chuck Hudson's staging for a simple reason: It seems real, delightfully and painfully so… The accent in Hudson's conceit for this "Bohème" is on realism. One never senses a mere traffic cop moving people around. He is impelling real people who are savoring and suffering life. The Act IV death scene is among the most cogent in memory as this Mimi slowly passes away and each character gradually realizes the tragedy that has occurred in that room.
Here is a jewel-box setting for an intricately cut and excellently mounted gem of a production…Hudson has taken this opera into the plains of reality with strong physical kinships and a sense of realism that sharpened those relationships. He has painted pictures that make sense and that aid in the tugging of our heartstrings. It is beautiful work and this company will be fortunate to have him back in future seasons.