REVIEW: Madame Butterfly

(c) Michel Daniel 2012

Last night, I attended the final dress rehearsal for the Minnestoa Opera’s latest production: Madame Butterfly. I found this opera to be simply exquisite, consistently exuding beauty.  Seeing this performance Madame Butterfly is similar to visiting a famous work of Renaissance art in a museum; you may not understand the exact importance of every minute detail, but you get a strong sense that this is something special.  It’s no wonder that Madame Butterfly has become the classic it is.

As would be expected of a production of this caliber, all of the performers were terrific.  I’m not an expert critic, so there’s not much else for me to say in this regard, other than I doubt anyone will be disappointed.  It is worth noting, however, that there are two alternating casts for this production so that their voices can rest in between the lengthy performances.  The cast we saw featured MN native, Kelly Kaduce, in the title role. Yunah Lee performs on opposite nights.  As with many operas, the runtime for this one is long–about 2 hours and 45 minutes–so be sure to drink a little caffeine before the curtain goes up!

The set design is simple, but elegant. Rather than overwhelm the audience with elaborate moving sets, this production relies on choreography and colorful costumes, swirling together along with the dramatic tension supplied by Puccini’s score.  I found my attention completely glued to the performers, so anything else would have been lost or a distraction.  As this is only my second opera, I often felt myself staring at the actors in wonder at how it is possible for one human to generate such incredible sounds.

This opera is almost sold out (4 of the 8 shows, as of this posting) but some tickets are still available.  Student rush tickets may be available on Tuesday and Thursday prior to show time.  If you’re not a student and would still like to see the show, however, I strongly recommend taking advantage of this DISCOUNT TICKET OFFER for the April 18th performance.  Please note, however, that this discount ticket opportunity expires TODAY!