James Bonas is a traditional storyteller for the modern age.
His most recent operatic projects include staging Strauss’ Ariadne auf Naxos for the Theater Magdeburg, the French premiere of Abrahamsen’s The Snow Queen for Opéra national du Rhin and Jonathan Dove’s Flight for The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. James’ work with illustrator Grégoire Pont has also been particularly well-received, with their productions of Orff’s Der Mond, Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges and L’heure espagnole performing worldwide. Their production of Bernstein’s Candide at Welsh National Opera in 2023 has been a recent highlight.
In ballet, James recent successes include The Crucible with Helen Pickett for Scottish Ballet and Dive with Sophie Laplane, which was featured at the La Biennale di Venezia and won the Grand Jury Prize at Cinedans 2022. Plans further ahead include new creations for Scottish Ballet, Het Nationale Ballet and American Ballet Theatre.
At the BBC Proms, James has staged Stravinsky’s L’histoire du soldat, Berlioz’s Symphonie fantastique and a Glass/Handel project in collaboration with Anthony Roth-Constanzo. Their 2023 season saw James return with Aurora Orchestra, staging Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring.