Last week, I attended Madame Butterfly at the Houston Grand Opera (HGO).
Here is a YouTube video posted by the HGO with some more information about the opera and the Houston production:
It is exciting to see the level of thought that went into creating this version of Madame Butterfly.
The show was truly outstanding. When the curtains came up and the set was revealed, I was immediately transported into another world. The stylized tree branches reaching over the stage gave the impression of a Hiroshige print.
The decision to employ a “sliding wall” as it were to indicate the house was also a brilliant idea. At first, I was afraid that the constant moving of the wall would be a distraction but the overall effect was not distracting at all. It allowed one to create indoor and outdoor spaces which were constantly being reversed and violated.
Ana María Martínez’ was magnificent. She truly captured the subtleties of Cio-Cio-San’s character and her voice was beautiful. Her performance was powerful and heartfelt. Moreover, her voice worked very well with Joseph Calleja’s (playing Pinkerton).