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Tom Fry
25th March 2014, 01:32 PM
“blow the candles out raise a glass to the night let all the tension out you’ve been wound up so tight/ it’s a tender trap to plan ahead all the time if you measure the world by what you leave behind”
The Metre Powderfinger

There has to be more written as a reviewer than your mere requested attendance at an opera/event; being there is just a part of the process called re-viewing.

Doors slide wide open as you sit in the darkened auditorium lights go up music plays and your mind sets sail! Tonite we are at Melbourne’s grand old inner-city Athenaeum Theatre to see/hear Puccini’s Madame Butterfly presented by Melbourne Opera.

Australia is a world away in time and location from neighboring Japan and all its contemporary wackiness; this epic tragedy of Shakespearian proportions is still relevant yet where are all the sixteen year olds tonight? Guiltily we follow the tragic path of a young girl impressed by an older man in uniform as he forges his way through the wartime Japan; he is our hero, “Butterfly” our fly trapped in the honey-pot.

“Butterfly” is a concubine, pregnant, shunned by society and family dreaming of a better life (in America as wife/mother; “USO Benjamin Franklin Lt Pinkerton” is a globetrotting officer symbol of imperialism. “A war is a war is a whore” (to parody Gertrude Stein’s much quoted rose prose piece).Sadly, Puccini the composer has a long list of operas (all about his tragic women really) this is another one (think Tennessee Williams’ Blanche Dubois Streetcar named Desire etc) hero’s win, heroines lose!

“There’s a sunset on the road …reappearing as you go…. I cant help recalling the powerful refrains from 2 amazing songs by now defunct legendary Australian band Powderfinger’s “Up and down and back again” and “Thrilloilogy” lyrics from Odyssey Number Five when I think of poor young 16yr old Mdme Butterfly.

www.powderfinger.net (http://www.powderfinger.net/)
fanmail@powderfinger.net


“now you’re ringing out slowly like cathedral bells and you’d sleep through heaven just to get to hell; now you drop away slowly like the autumn leaves but you lose your colour when you hit the street” Thrilloilogy Powderfinger

Tonight, Australian soprano Antoinette Halloran sings Butterfly-Cio Cio San beautifully in the way we expect an older woman to portray a teenager; the handsome young strapping rake Lt Pinkerton was sung by tenor Jason Wasley (Opera Studio Melbourne). Traditional stylized sliding stage high panel doors platform black-backcloth Set design by Director Caroline Stacey and Greg Carrol, with interesting shadow screen Lighting by Gareth Simmonds looked great from high up a well. Did we like it YES very much, was the production of high standard YES Bravo MO for breaking the mould with a refreshing light set, excellent sound quality and music in the Upper Dress Circle by Greg Hocking conductor/producer Melbourne Opera Chorus and Orchestra. Would we recommend it to our friends WHOLEHEARTED YES

13995
Athenaeum Theatre

Fri 21st March - 7:30pm

Sat 22nd March - 2pm and 7:30pm
Mon 24th March - 6:30pm
Book on 9650 1500
or Ticketek (http://premier.ticketek.com.au/shows/show.aspx?sh=MADAMEBU14&v=ATT)13 28 49

Tony and Lionel,
The Opera Boys.
www.theoperaboys.com (http://www.theoperaboys.com)