Review of Madame Butterfly by Opera Bohemia in the Hayward Theatre, Ely on 1st July 2017
(Part of the Isle of Ely Arts Festival)
By eventswhatson.com reviewer Rosemary Westwell
Opera Bohemia’s ‘Madame Butterfly’ in the Hayward Theatre in Ely on Saturday 1st July was wonderful.
The singing was superb, the actions measured and strongly symbolic, and the accompaniment robust and supportive. The underlying ecstasy, pain and anguish of Puccini’s style were beautifully captured.
The characters were well defined. Catriona Clark in portraying the betrayed central character Cio-Cio San, sang magnificently carrying the pathos and fragility of her character particularly well. American sailor, B.F. Pinkerton (David Lynn) was a good match and Suzuki (Louise Collett) a good friend. Mention must be made of the highly impressive control and naturalness of young actor Rowan Redfarn playing Sorrow. The consular office, Sharpless, played by Whitaker Mills, Goro (Kenneth Reid) and Madeleine (Joy Wilson) all assisted the plot expertly and Kate (Fiona Mackenzie) was an excellent unwitting thorn the side of Madame ‘Pinkerton’.
Andrew Brown on piano, ably assisted by Feargus Hetherington on violin, helped the emotional drama of the show rise and fall powerfully.
Costumes and staging also added to the atmosphere, especially Madame Butterfly’s costume and the English translation overhead helped us understand the Italian. It was very pleasing to hear the music sung in its original language for words and music were designed to gel together and so created a stunning effect that kept us spellbound.
Congratulations must go to the director John Wilkie and his team for such a splendid performance.
For more information about Opera Bohemia, contact: www.operabohemia.co.uk/