REVIEW: Madama Butterfly performed by Russian State Opera

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In what is reputed to be Puccini’s favourite opera, and despite its ill fated opening night back in Milan in 1904, the Russian State Opera last night (13 October 2018) performed to a sell out audience at Lighthouse Poole to rapturous applause.

Based on a true story and featuring an impressive cast accompanied by a live orchestra Madama Butterfly is set in Japan at the turn of the 20th century and tells the story of an American Navel Officer and his young Japanese bride Cio-Cio-San whose self-sacrifice and defiance of her family ultimately leads to tragedy.

Like most opera, love and tragedy is at the heart of its story and Madama Butterfly is no exception, this performance excellently portrays the clash in different cultures and the problems that can occur which are as pronounced today as they were back in the early 20th century.

As you would expect the costumes and choreography are superb accompanied with heart rendering scores from the whole cast. The set was simple and colourful and the setting down of the sun scene along with the sun rise of the following morning must be singled out as a brilliant example of their production teams expertise. 

This was a single night performance in Poole although they and many other ballet and opera companies are regular visitors to the theatre, for future performances and also to view the superb autumn season at Lighthouse Poole visit their website here 

This performance was Sung in Italian with English surtitles.

Reviewed by Brian Case October 2018

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