February 2012

Opera All-Stars

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.

There has been some great feedback about the show on our website. To read what fellow audience members thought, or to leave a review yourself, you can join the conversation here.