Follow-up to our Night at the Opera; Madama Butterfly

Well it is the morning after the night before. We are home and the twins are safe and sound having survived an evening with my Sweetheart and I out of the house. So some thoughts on the opening night of Madama Butterfly…

Exquisite…beautiful…simple and yet beautiful beyond words…moving…heart-breaking and it all hit so close to our home.

At the post-production backstage party I had a chance to briefly talk with the ever-gracious Tom Wright, Director of Artistic Planning. I admitted that during the scene where Butterfly is sitting and waiting for her beloved Pinkerton to come ashore after three years away, yes, in fact my Sweetheart and I both had tears streaming down our faces. Tom Wright told me that this is the eighth time he has been involved with a Madama Butterfly production and that the opera still moves him. He added that it is a testament to just how perfect Jonathan Darlington, the Music Director and Conductor for the VO is able to bring alive Puccini’s music.

At the end of the opera as the audience was applauding the performers’ performances, and James Valenti, the tenor who performed the role of B.F. Pinkerton, I was deeply into the story that I still had difficulty separating the performer from the performance; I did not want to applaud this terrible American cad after the grief that he had brought to Butterfly’s life. The performer was just so perfect in his role as the swaggering Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton. However, backstage his friendly and personable nature, along with his strikingly handsome good looks! soon made me separate performer and performance.

On that note, while backstage post-production I had a very lovely chat with a lady who looks so much like Grace McCarthy that I have a hard time believing that it is not Grace. She admitted that there was once a swaggering young man in her life who treated her much the same way that Pinkerton treated Butterfly. She said that even the way that he walked and moved across the stage brought back a flood of memories. It is funny to see how the performers and the performance touch our hearts in so many unique ways.

As I have previously said, this production was all the more emotional for my Sweetheart and I because of the fact that it was the first night that we have gone out and left our sweet little girls at home in the care of the grandparents. And to make our first evening out to an opera where a beautiful young mother is abandoned by her globe-trotting, swaggering American lover, and then to top it off with his return at which point he steals the child away from her…what a night. Simply amazing.

Thank you to the entire cast, crew and front office staff of the Vancouver Opera for making this Golden Anniversary season of the opera one that I will likely never forget. A truly wonderful performance to end a wonderful season.

So what is coming up for next season you ask? Stayed tuned…it gets even more exciting.

Disclaimer; I was not paid for or compensated for these views. The views expressed here are wholly my own (with some input from my Sweetheart). Thank you to the Vancouver Opera for inviting me to this performance and a special thanks to Ling Chan, the Social Media Manager for Vancouver Opera for making this blogger night “work.”





One response to “Follow-up to our Night at the Opera; Madama Butterfly”

  1. caitlyn James Avatar

    Sounds like an incredible “first” date!