Saturday 18th February 2017, and would you believe it, I’m back at the Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay, for my 4th performance of the WNO production of Madam Butterfly. For tonight’s opera we have Karah Son and Jonathan Burton returning as Cio-Cio-San and Pinkerton. I have been greatly impressed by all four of these leading ladies and gents, with each of them giving stand out performances at all occasions I’ve visited
My last few blogs have concentrated on how amazingly brilliant the female leads have been, with Karah, Linda and Rebecca outstanding on every performance I’ve seen so far. So I’m moving onto the male leads today.
As the curtain rises, we have Goro played by Simon Crosby Buttle with Lieutenant Pinkerton played by Jonathan Burton (for last nights performance Paul Charles Clark played this role). Followed on by David Kempster as Sharpless (the American Consul). Again I was very impressed with the singing voices these gentlemen generated throughout the opera. Mixing well with the female cast members to produce some wonderful tones as the opera progresses. With a good mix of musical ranges (Simon and Jonathan as the two tenors and David a baritone), we have a great opportunity to listen to these performers sing their hearts out. And I must say they do just that.
I also have to mention the WNO Chorus, whose members fill in the rest of the cast, and again are so brilliant in everything they achieve on stage, adding some wonderful harmonies to proceedings, especially in the first act, as we meet Cio-Cio-san’s relatives etc at the wedding party. I’ve always said the chorus of the WNO have to be one of the best you’ll ever hear when visiting any opera company, and they’ve never proved me wrong so far.
Another mention has to go to the wonderful Orchestra of the WNO, who are just phenomenal every time they play. I think I must have mentioned this fact a million times. They also have to be one of the best Orchestras around at this moment in time, playing to near perfection at every opportunity.
An amazing season of top class opera, which I have enjoyed immensely. I’ve heard some fabulous voices throughout, just beautiful. Tonight, as well, is the last opera performance at the Millenium Centre before the whole season goes on tour. I feel very lucky to have been able to enjoy so many performances of Madam Butterfly and La Boheme while they have been camped at the centre. So I’m looking forward to more offerings at the Centre for the next season in May/June 2017.