Sunday, October 28, 2007

Madama Butterfly at the Met

Cio-Cio-San- Patricia Racette
Pinkerton- Roberto Alagna
Suzuki- Maria Zifchak
Sharpless- Luca Salsi
Production- Anthony Minghella
Conductor- Mark Elder

Before the overture even started, all the lights went dark. Even the orchestra pit was dark. The curtain come up and a woman comes over the "hill" and the back of the stage. She has two fans and when she reaches the middle of the stage you see that there are two long red scarves flowing from the back of her dress. The orchestra lights come on and the music begins. The audience sits there gaping at the dancing before the action even begins.

That's what an opera performance is all about. There is an awe in the audience before anyone even sings a note. Gorgeoussssssss!!!!!!
Although, as many of you know, Roberto Alagna is not my favorite singer I enjoyed his performance. His singing was good and so was his acting. He moved very comfortably, despite his very unlikable character. He succeeded in making Pinkerton more likable than most tenors do. I'm not quite sure how he did it, but I didn't find myself screaming "Jerk!" like I do with most Pinkertons. Maybe that's a good quality of Mr. Alagna??
Patricia Racette was really fantastic. Her "Un Bel Di" had tears in my eyes, at least. It's just so heartbreaking that she has so much hope and then... well, you know. Patricia Racette is a powerhouse! No wonder everyone speaks so highly of her. That final scene was so haunting. The puppet (we'll get to that...) has the blindfold on and she stabs herself. The lights turn red and the people in black come on and take long red scarves from her dress. They spread it out as Pinkerton runs up the hill screaming "Butterfly!" Oh, so effective! Puccini was brilliant! My friend and I both had the sniffles during that part.
So, the puppet. Yes, Butterfly and Pinkerton's child was played by a wooden puppet. It was distracting at first, and I would never quite forget that there were three people dressed in black maneuvering it, but it was interesting. After a while it didn't really make a difference whether it was a puppet or not, in my opinion.
I'm sorry that this production is completely sold out, because I wanted to tell you all to go out and get tickets! Maybe next season? Well, if they revive it in future seasons, which I'm sure they will, everyone must go see it. It's magnificent!

Happy Listening! =)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i went to see Madama Butterfly aswell and i found it to be absolutly amazing. i had tears in my eyes at the last scene also. i must add that the sets were amazing. especially the set where there was confetti falling from the top. it reminded me of butterflies, and that just added to the greatness of the scene. i didnt find the 3 people handling the son distracting, but infact interesting. i later read that they are trained for a long time to be able to manipulate that kind of puppetry. it is very interesting, in my oppinion. i enjoyed the entire expreience and would love to see it again. thanks for your input!