The Minnesota Opera has been gaining huge popularity in the Twin Cities, especially this past year. It’s exciting to see the shows sell out and to know that when you go to the Opera, you’re going to see an exquisite show.
Michael Christie, the new music director for The Minnesota Opera, came over to Sakura before the show on Thursday night and spoke to us (bloggers) about the history of Madame Butterfly and a few behind-the-scenes details that were fun to hear firsthand. This time of frank discussion is very enlightening when you’re watching the production and can sometimes be my favorite part of the entire night. This was the case Thursday night. Mr. Christie’s enthusiasm is catching.
However, once the music began, I couldn’t shake the uneasiness~ maybe because I know how this sad story ends for Madame Butterfly. There are two casts for this show and we were fortunate to hear Kelly Kaduce as Madame Butterfly and Arturo Chacón-Cruz as Lieutenant B. F. Pinkerton. Ms. Kaduce was fantastic, both in her amazing vocal range and in portraying a young 15-year-old naive girl about to be married. Mr. Chacón-Cruz also had an incredible voice and played his part very well because I wanted to rip out every shred of hair on his perfectly coiffed head.
Lieutenant Pinkerton is a Class A Jerk.
In the happy times…
But joyful, lighthearted endings an Opera does not make…
I can’t go on about this one as much as I did with Silent Night~ I LOVED everything about that production. The Madame Butterfly sets were extremely stark, making the 2 hour and 45 minute run time more evident at times. Musically speaking, there were really great moments, especially when Kaduce and Chacón-Cruz sang together, but I wished for more beautiful harmonies. However, this is how composer Giacomo Puccini envisioned it, and I do like that The Minnesota Opera remained true to Puccini’s vision.
All in all, any chance to go to the Opera is a wonderful experience and one that I highly recommend. Thank you, Daniel Zillman, for the opportunities this past year!