Cio-Cio San’s tragedy is one of the worst kept secrets in Italian Opera, but Puccini’s masterpiece remains today breath-taking. Past the suffering and despair on the young Japanese woman, embodied by Australian soprano Cheryl Barker, The Archer attended a memorable night at the Welsh National Opera.
The lights go down on the main Cardiff’s Millennium Centre room. The orchestra, fiercely conducted by French maestro Frédéric Chaslin, plays the opening notes of Madam Butterfly as a respectful silence submerges the venue.
On stage soft lights dominated by sepia coulours sketch a miniature of Nagasaki sleeping under the hill where American Lieutenant Pinkerton restlessly awaits his soon to be Japanese bride.
Nagasaki-own geisha Cio-Cio San, or Madam Butterfly, in the prime of age, is soon to meet her destiny. Her fate is a life-long of loneliness and despair, foreseen by her own western lover on the beginning of the first act.
Constituted by a cast of six main characters plus a few dozen extras, the tragedy was superbly conducted for three hours of iconic music and powerful voices.
The hundred-year old Italian Opera, well known by genre lovers, only lives through the brilliant performance of the cast, which received a final standing ovation by the audience.
Played at the Millennium Centre until March 2, Madame Butterfly features a perfect night out for both genre connoisseurs and curious beginners.
Student tickets are from £10. Click here for more information about tickets.
Australian Soprano Cheryl Barker performing Madame Butterfly: