Madama Butterfly

Marina Theatre, Lowestoft

> Marina Theatre, Lowestoft

This performance of Puccini's opera by the Ukrainian National Opera of Odessa was a joy to see.

Galina Bernaz was excellent as the tragic heroine Cio-Cio-San (Madama Butterfly) a young Japanese girl from Nagasake who marries an American Navy Officer, Lieutenant Pinkerton.

Ruslan Zinevych dominated the performance as the selfish, cynical American who sees the marriage as nothing more than a game before he goes home to America. For 15-year-old Cio-Cio-San it is a case of love versus lust a situation that is clearly seen by her servant Suzuki brilliantly played by Nadezhda Stoianova.

There were fine performances from Yuri Gisca as Sharpless the American Consul who warns Pinkerton about the tragic consequences his game could have and Anatol Arcea as the marriage broker Goro. Arcea brought a welcome touch of humour to the money-grasping eavesdropping character providing some light relief nicely balancing the tensions between Pinkerton, Sharpless and Cio-Cio-San.

The orchestra, conducted by Andriy Yurkevych reproduced Puccini's score to great affect that combined with the soaring arias in the second act and Butterfly's death scene with her young son Sorrow ably played by six-year-old Alexandra Kakovkyna meant there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

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