Wow…what a night! Madama Butterfly opened last night at Overture Hall to a capacity crowd that simply loved it. The audience was with Butterfly for every note, every joy, and every heartache, and the spontaneous and prolonged ovation that came with Maria Kanyova’s bow only confirmed this. Jun Kaneko’s designs drew “oohs” and “ahhs” throughout the night and set the stage for truly magical music making.
Don’t just take my word for it. The reviews are in, and here’s what the critics are saying:
“Kaneko’s costume and set design is unavoidably stunning…At times seeing the set change is like watching an abstract painting being made.”
“…there is no doubt Rawls has the tenor chops for the role [of Pinkerton]. Even while carrying Kanyova, he hits massive high notes that spin and soar into the hall.”
“Baritone Grant Youngblood is a fine Sharpless, Pinkerton’s older and wiser friend, infusing the role with believability and gravitas. As Suzuki, mezzo-soprano Heather Johnson is also a pleasure, notably in her gorgeous second act duet with Kanyova.”
“Maestro Leonardo Vordoni’s conducting is expressive and responsive…”
“Leslie Swackhamer’s direction creates an image of the East that is no longer exoticized, but instead, a kind of imagined place where moons drip blood and silent, black-clad dancers move in stylized patterns across the stage.“
-Lindsay Christians, The Capital Times