We closed Butterfly on Saturday night. Although I had been in a ton of rehearsals, I didn't actually watch the show until the Sunday matinee. I wasn't sure whether or not I was that wild about the music until I saw the whole thing; I began crying in the middle of Act 2 and didn't stop until after the show was over. In the backstage office, a few of us were having a conversation about how, in sports, a player gets chosen to be on the All-Star team, and that's a way of signifying that they're a big deal -- we were thinking in particular of Portland Trailblazer LaMarcus Aldridge, who was just named an All-Star on Thursday night. We were trying to figure out a term we could use to signify the same thing in opera; some way of telling our audience, "What you are seeing tonight is something special and wonderful and rare." Kelly Kaduce is that all-star. All of us, cast and crew, chorus and orchestra alike, have felt during this run as though we are in the presence of something truly remarkable. I feel tremendously lucky to have seen her Butterfly; she has nowhere to go but up, up, up. Watching from the wings on Saturday night, I found myself crying just as much watching the final scene as I had from my seat in the house. That moment when Kathryn Day, as Suzuki, realizes that Butterfly is about to commit seppuku -- that moment is just heart-wrenching. Do you know? Our Assistant Stage Manager, Jon Wangsgard, stood offstage with a tissue to hand to Kathryn every night as she exited after that scene.
It's these little things, guys, that make this job so magical.
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