Review: ‘Madama Butterfly’ at the Lyric Opera

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“Madama Butterfly” was performed at the Lyric Opera Jan. 11. It was my first opera ever; it was most pleasing to me, and the entire 3,500 folks that joined in a standing ovation following the show seemed to enjoy it too. The nearly three-hour-long show expressed much emotion and tragedy to a degree that I didn’t think was possible of achieving. I now understand what all the hype is about and why it is one of the finest operas of all time. The way that a story can be told all through singing is magnificent and is something that amateurs, like me, should experience.

This fine opera is centered on a newly married couple. There is a strong connection between an American naval officer Lt. B.F. Pinkerton (Stefano Secco) and a 15-year-old geisha Cio-Cio San, also known as Madama Butterfly(Patricia Racette). Pinkerton rents a house for the two of them, and they fall deeply, deeply in love. The love between them isn’t like any other love. They are sincere and believe in each other to an unreachable level. The first act ended with the famous duet between Pinkerton and Madama Butterfly expressing their love for one another.

Act two opened up with Cio-Cio San waiting for her promised lover to return home. After three years have passed, we find out that, while Pinkerton has been away, Cio-Cio San has had a baby. The emotion that this child brings to the play is remarkable. The loving way that Madama Butterfly cherishes her child is surreal. A show about love and romance isn’t complete until a child is brought into play. As Cio-Cio San, her child and her housemaid, Suzuki (Maryann McCormick), wait desperately for the return of Pinkerton, they see the sails of his ship in the distance. While the third act unfolded, the audience clenched their fists in pure thrill and emotion.

“Madama Butterfly,” my first opera, was amazing since the entire story is sung from beginning to end, making it fun to watch. I have never seen anything like it before. Everyone should have a chance to see something so emotional. An opera like “Madama Butterfly” can never be captured appropriately outside of a live performance on stage. The entirety of the performance flowed smoothly. There were never any dull moments. The full orchestra, the moving sets, lights and songs all connected perfectly to capture such an amazing piece.

Check out the Lyric Opera website. I am sure they offer student discounts for upcoming operas. Many in our generation hasn’t been exposed to this art form, and I advise everyone to go out and see it. Chances are, you will find yourself in your own world; it is worth your time and money.

“Madama Butterfly” is a definite must-see.