I like to participate in life rather than be a spectator. Music, dancing, theatre, travelling, food, cycling and walking are some of my passions. Writing is an enjoyable pastime that allows me to share my experiences.
Opera Australia is taking John Bell's English version production of Puccini'sMadama Butterfly on a ten-week regional tour of Victoria, NSW, ACT & Tasmania in 2018. Madam Butterfly may be coming to a theatre near you, such as Parramatta's Riverside Theatres. It can be simplified as a tale of two lovers separated by culture, class and distance and is the inspiration for the musical Miss Saigon. I see it more as a cautionary tragic tale of delusion and deception played out via a magnificent score.
Madame Butterfly is a well-loved opera that is accessible and easy for 'opera virgins' to understand. The music provided by the eleven-piece chamber orchestra is powerful and evocative and the story is romantic and heartbreaking. There are touches of humour mainly via the marriage broker Goro. The audience is transported to Japan via the beautiful costumes, lighting, set design and music. Washi screens and stylised cherry blossoms are used to good effect to set and change scenes.
The performances are strong from the achingly beautiful vulnerability of Sharon Zhai'sCio-Cio-San to the unlikeable self-satisfied Pinkerton played by Matthew Reardon. For me the truly memorable parts were the lantern parade during the Humming Chorus, the desperately optimistic One Fine Day and the inevitable dramatic conclusion.
Butterfly and her beloved child Joy (image from website)
Opera Australia has brought a glorious production of Madam Butterfly from Sydney Opera House to regional and metropolitan centres of Australia.