Recorded November 2012, The Arts Centre, Melbourne
Designers Peter England, Russell Cohen
Lighting Designer Robert Bryan
Madama Butterfly is a magnificent work by Puccini with a ravishing score to tug at the heart. Romantic Cio-Cio-San’s innocence and trust is captured by the cynical Lieutenant Pinkerton, who marries her as a novelty and temporary convenience with absolutely no intention of honouring his vows for longer than it suits him to do so. Was Puccini highlighting the prevailing condescending cultural imperialism that was so evident at the time? And its inevitable consequences?
Japanese soprano, Hiromi Omura, portrays Butterfly with grace, bringing to the stage a complex combination of fragility and strength, with singing that is both exquisite and powerful. James Egglestone gives Pinkerton the self-possession of a man who takes from the world what he wants, his strong voice soaring over the magnificent orchestra. The drama is played out on an elegant, minimalistic set splashed with bright colour from the gorgeous costumes and lighting, inspired by Japanese theatre traditions.
James Egglestone (B F Pinkerton), Hiromi Omura (Cio-Cio-San (Butterfly)), Graeme Macfarlane (Goro), Sian Pendry (Suzuki), Barry Ryan (Sharpless), Clifford Plumpton (The Imperial Commissioner), Gregory Brown (The Official Registrar), Jud Arthur (The Bonze), Samuel Dundas (Prince Yamadori), Nicole Car (Kate Pinkerton) & John Nguyen (Dolore)
Opera Australia Chorus & Orchestra Victoria, Giovanni Reggioli (conductor) & Moffatt Oxenbould (director)