Review: MADAME BUTTERFLY at Opera Wroclaw

An incredible production!

By: Jun. 20, 2022

Review: MADAME BUTTERFLY at Opera Wroclaw

If you want to witness the materialization of the word beauty, see this show. With thrilling voices, amazing Puccini music, and vital presentation this opera will lead you straight to musical heaven.

This 118-year-old masterpiece being part of verismo tradition portrays the world with greater realism. As a part of the movement, this opera is not based on kings, queens, or gods, but the average man and woman with their problems. It is based on a short story written by John Luther Long, which is inspired by a real story.

I will start with the greater picture. The scenography (by William Orlandi) is dark, grey, kind of rust, and dusty, which is a perfect way to make the scene a black and white movie. Costumes (designed also by Orlandi) are as well dark/grey and looking at colorless pictures gives a new perspective. There is one color added - red flowers - and it gives them even more power symbolizing the power of emotions.

You will love the music, it's dynamic, lively, bright, festive, and refreshing. There is something very light and natural in it. The orchestra conducted greatly by Bassem Akiki gives an unforgettable trip to a musical paradise.

The first act has a lot of beautiful love songs (it's all about love after all), and there is a delicacy and vulnerability. Madame Butterfly (great Kristine Opolais) leaves us speechless. Her creation in the first act is tender as petals of flowers. She's fragile and naive, filled with love and faith. You want to hug her because you know that the story will end tragically as she's so undeniably sweet and innocent (well, after all, she's 15 years old). Act two is different, three years later, the once beautiful bride is now shaky, her delicacy turned into vulnerability filled with sadness and infinite hope. She's miserable but humble and incredibly patient. Kristine leads the character with perfection, she is THE Madame Butterfly, and she has endless power over the personality. She makes reading her emotions so easy, it's perfectly clear and seems like they are flowing through her. She's a natural. Her interpretation is incredible, she was coloring the space with notes and tones et let them go. In a very unusual way, she makes us feel her emotions, and they are strong. It's highly moving.

The play has other magnificent parts like Suzuki (striking Monika Ledzion-Porczynska), energetic Goro (Aleksander Zuchowicz), elegant Sharpless (Marcin Bronikowski) and Prince Yamadori (chic Lukasz Rosiak) and last but not least the Pinkerton played by Tadeusz Szlenkier. He's also incredible. His singing is like roasted hazelnut, thick, nutty, crunchy on the outside, a little smoky and oily on the inside. He convinced me totally and I loved every single moment of his performance.

This play is like old-school black and white movie with great, vibrant music and I really don't know what the best part is - amazing voices, music, or scenography. It makes a perfect combination of a show that will stay with you for a long time.

Photo: T. Golla