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Madame Butterfly

Sometimes it’s strange how one event leads to another. It started when I saw the poster for a new production of the opera Madame Butterfly and decided that I wanted to use part of it for a new icon. Then rheasilvia picked that icon in the 5 icon meme for me to tell about and in that post I asked if someone felt like going to the opera. chicasumi jumped at it and we rounded up sorhild, kirabikame and her bf plus my brother and his gf. We also decided that we were to go dressed in gothic/sweet/wa-loli dresses (well, not the boys). And last night we met up and saw Madame Butterfly together.

The day started spectacularly. Sorhild didn’t own any dresses of her own so when I set out for work in the early morning I was dragging a suitcase filled with platform boots, dresses, fluffy skirts, curling iron, make up and what’s not. But despite logging this around and being in a bit of a hurry to catch the train I could’n help but stop when I came to the tiny field that is on my way and just drink in the beauty that was yesterday morning. The sun about to rise was coloring the sky white in the east and in the direction I was walking the full moon was shining, sharply outlined against a violet grey sky. It promised to be a cool and clear day, my favorite kind.

Anyway, we met up after work at Sorhild's place to get geared up and when done, we played scrabble until it was time to leave. ^^

I almost always end up regretting it when I put on a dress. After five minutes I feel like I’m in drag, the boy in me is kicking and screaming and I just want to get back into my old clothes, or even better, a suit or something like that. (A few years ago I had forgot to keep up with my laundry and one morning when I was going to the university all my pants were dirty, I had to put on a skirt. The moment I walk out my sister looks at me and drops the, now classic, line: “Oh, you’re crossdressing today”.) Yesterday, fortunately, was not so bad.

All dolled up we arrived at the opera house. The crowd was middle aged and up, and they were staring at us. XDDDD But we got compliments from some old ladies who thought we were really pretty. ^^

We had gotten the chapest seats but it turned out to not be such a bad thing after all. We were seated on the balcony and had a really good view over the stage, and the opera house wasn’t very big so we weren’t that far away.

I had to admire the stage. It was built as an apartmentbuilding in three floors. I truly belive thay had a blast constructing that thing. The same for the costumes. That department too must have had a field day. (It made me long for my own old theatre group.) The contrasts between Butterfly’s pretty, girly and a bit innocent style in the beginning in contrast with Pinkerton’s army attire was beautiful, and it made him feel all the more like a creep. And the picachuu outfit they had found for the little boy was absolutely adorable! But it really is a tragic story and I loved how everything played a part in showing and highlighting different parts and themes in the story. I have heard parts of Madame Butterfly before and I know the story, but this was the first time I saw the whole thing live. I really loved all the little detail. After studying japanese for so many years there are of course things that bug me, but there wasn’t much. The program contained a manga version outlining the story which I though was fun and all the sweet and cute that they had crammed in just made for a more effective contrast to the horror and tragedy.

Puccini has never been one of my favorite composers, my preferences lie elsewhere, and I was mostly unfamiliar with this particular score. But I found some of the themes in the music oddly compelling, especially in the second and third act. There is the humming chorus where in the last note one of the tenors shone through in a way that gave me shivers. The orchestra had some pieces that were delicately handled and absolutely gorgeous (also in the second and third act). So I was won over fairly easily. ^^ Madame Butterfly herself also showed proof of having a beautiful voice, especially in the pianissimo parts (and I have a weak spot for people who handle those things well).
All in all it was a fun evening and I’m so glad we all decided to do this!

When I walked home from the train it was dark. As I came to the same spot were I had stopped that morning I had to pause I admire the night sky full of stars that streched above me. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful day!


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 13th, 2011 06:59 pm (UTC)
The song in the disowning-scene was the most powerful, imho. That one gave me chills, I liked the orchestral pieces, like the piece at the end where there's this kind of creepy song when Butterfly is about to kill herself - but overall, as I said, it felt a bit mass-at-church-y to me. It didn't have that playful, musical genius that Nessun Dorma has, for example -- when I heard that song at the KTH-concert I was blown away. I had internal goose bumps for at least twenty minutes after that performance :D
Oct. 13th, 2011 07:47 pm (UTC)
You do realize that it's the same guy who wrote both Madame Butterfly and Turandot that Nessun Dorma is a part of? ^^
Oct. 13th, 2011 08:26 pm (UTC)
I do :D
He seems to have had a thing for East-Asia.
Oct. 15th, 2011 02:50 pm (UTC)
No kidding! XDDD
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )