What did you think of MADAME BUTTERFLY?

Now that you've seen Madame Butterfly, write a review or comment on someone else's review.

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Comments:

I am a disabled person who

I am a disabled person who uses a wheelchair. Travel between the parking garage and the Keller auditorium is
consistently very hard. I did not arrive a half hour early as is my usual practice to get a functional
parking space. I parked and wheeled myself to the exit at the corner of 3rd and the cross street-
there were two stairs. Nearly in tears because I was already late, two young people on the street
very graciously helped me to the opera. They were part of the Occupy movement. Thanks OCCUPY!.
On the way out, I asked the ushers if one of them would help me to my car. No occupy movement there!
They said no but one asked her husband to help me and he got me to my car. There should be some
volunteers who could valet park disabled people's cars. There is too much disconnect between
the pay park and the auditorium. Bringing this up usually brings the response that it is someone
else's responsibility- the parking garage- or the city or someone else. The fact of the matter is
that disabled people get treated very poorly and have trouble attending performances.
Consultation with the ushers and a simple volunteer project could solve this issue easily.

We are season ticket holders

We are season ticket holders on the last Saturday. We attended Madame Butterfly and brought three friends with us. Generally we thought the opera was very well done with the principals highly competent in their roles. I first saw Madame Butterfly in Osaka, Japan more than 50 years ago as a guest of the Japanese and fell in love with it.

I thought the Portland performance was one of the better treatments of the story that I have seen except for the smoking. Why is that ever necessary? I found it quite irritating from an otherwise fine performance. The orchestra did a great job.

James P. Wishart

Great singing and

Great singing and performances by all, but I must share that the shenanigans with the flask in the first act, and all the emphasis on smoking made me cringe. Puccini must have rolled in his grave... Kelly Kaduce sang that role to perfection but her expansive gestures were simply not those of a Japanese woman of that era. The little boy added a beautiful dimension and made the third act all the more devastating. I've been a season subscriber for 19 years and have seen Butterfly three times now and can truthfully say that aside from the things noted above this performance truly touched me in all the right ways. Bravo!

Wonderful performance.

Wonderful performance. Please try to substitute the water bottles for a less crackly brand. They were very distracting.

I confess that I groaned when

I confess that I groaned when I saw this on the schedule, so few years after the last run. Was I wrong! This was one of the very best productions I've seen in 10+ years here, a beautiful and effective set, a convincing Puccini orchestra, excellent acting and singing. What put it at the top was Kelly Kaduce's Butterfly. I can't think offhand of an opera that so depends on a single principal -- in other Puccini operas, for example, a great Scarpia or Cavaradossi can compensate for a flawed Tosca, or Calaf for Turandot, or Rodolfo for Mimi. But Butterfly has to carry it pretty much on her own, and Kelly Kaduce has the voice and acting chops to do it. Just a great evening -- thanks!

I attended the performance of

I attended the performance of Madame Butterfly on Saturday 2/11/12 and I have to admit I had some preconceived doubts. I thought the show would be really maudlin, but it really was a moving and poignant story with a universal appeal. Superb from start to finish! All of the singers did an excellent job but I especially enjoyed Kelly Kaduce's performance as Cio Cio San. It was nice to see the role play in a way that wasn't a stereotype. The part where she tries to attach her long hair back onto that pageboy? Wow...talk about being symbolic as to how one really can't turn back the clock, no matter how much one might want to do so. Kathryn Day was perfect in her supporting role as Suzuki. Her pace and timing was such that she could be noticed without upstaging the stars of the opera. Not always an easy thing to do with supporting roles. The little boy who performed on Saturday was adorable. He spoke volumes without saying a word...just melts your heart when you see him. I really enjoyed the performance of John Hancock as Sharpless. For some reason, he reminds me a bit of the actor Alfred Molina. Mind you, I had to laugh when the audience "booed" that Lt. Pinkerton at the end (the Officer who wasn't so much of a "gentleman"), but then cheered Roger Honeywell. Also, I felt the costumes and sets were exquisite, and I especially appreciated the sophistication of the backdrop lighting as the time in the acts passed from day to night and back again. Watching that opera made for an overall very pleasant evening, and I look forward to future productions by Portland Opera.

Porland's BUTTERFLY was the

Porland's BUTTERFLY was the best opera production I have ever seen.
Thank you,
Bob

Loved the opera last evening.

Loved the opera last evening. The voices were all wonderful, especially Cio-Cio San Kelly Kaduce. However, I do have one bone to pick. Being of Japanese descent, I was uncomfortable with Ms. Kaduce's interpretation of a Japanese woman, albeit one who is trying to become a Westerner. The "dutch boy" hairstyle and western clothes in combination with her wild gesticulations made it impossible for me to believe she was Japanese. Japanese women of that time would have been demure, shy, almost subservient and although this is a production for the stage, could have been more delicately interpreted without all the acting to the third balcony. The officer's smoking, etc. onstage could have been missed as well, as the entire first floor was inundated with acrid smoke during the first act. Loved the sets, and the little boy was absolute perfection! Brava!

I lived in Japan for a year

I lived in Japan for a year in the mid-60's and thought the mannerisms of Cio and Suzuki were very authentic.

Brava Kelly! Sublime voice

Brava Kelly! Sublime voice and acting. Please continue to bring her back to Portland.

Love'sGreatReward's picture

My first live opera was

My first live opera was Portland Opera's sadly unromantic and overly industrial and proletariat Turandot.
Impossible to compare to last night's magic. Portland Opera's production of Madame Butterfly did not disappoint and was truly 'NOT TO BE MISSED!' A weak start by Honeywell (vs. Goro's strong voice - can't blame the orchestra who played no softer for Goro than for Pinkerton), detracted only until Butterfly alit on stage; Honeywell's voice grew increasingly stronger with each line he sang, and the remainder of the production was breathtaking. From the lights and sets, to the costumes, orchestra, and Kelly's enthralling performance (in a role, no doubt, penned for her by Puccini), Madame Butterfly was everything I ever expected from an opera experience.

I wrote a Facebook note on the wall of my deceased brother and thought to share those sentiments:

"Went back in time last night, to late evening drives in the Jag... oddly warm and cool breezes, heavy still with rain... Wending up the road to Las Cumbres.. dinner at La Hacienda... Mom and Dad in front... and you, Carol and I in the back being tortured by Dad's 8-track of Madame Butterfly. ;-D I thought of you all with so much tenderness that I thought my heart would stop. I cried so many tears listening to the delicate and heart-wrenching strains Puccini penned for his opera. The sets and lighting were magical, the orchestra was superb, the voices were so lilting and clear. I was completely transported... and I knew you were there with me, and Dad, too, who so loved this work and imparted his love to us. I wish you could have come in life. Your heart, too, would have broken. By the time the curtain went down, after 3:15, I could take no more torment. I want to go again on Saturday; guess I'm not quite done crying. Last night, heaven must have been missing an angel, because she was in Portland, singing Puccini."

Kelly Kaduce - ditto, ditto

Kelly Kaduce - ditto, ditto to all the raves. What superhuman stamina! She even sang while carrying the child around.
Kathryn Day and John Hancock as Suzuki and Sharpless were both very fine and professional. John Hancock was especially convincing as the Consul. The Act 3 trio between Sharpless, Suzuki and Pinkerton was one of the most ravishing pieces of music I have ever heard.
Roger Honeywell as Pinkerton got better as the opera progressed. The fact that the orchestra covered him up in the first act should have been addressed by the conductor. If a singer is not strong enough to shout over the orchestra the conductor should adjust accordingly. Singers can only do what they can do. Some opera conductors should get over themselves and realize that the audience needs to hear the singers.
In general, I thought that Conductor Ann Manson lacked a feeling for Puccini's music, which is very dramatic. The dramatic impact in this performance was diminished by a lack of contrast in volume and tempo. In particular, the third act overture was so legato and smooth I almost fell asleep. I don't blame the musicians, who played extremely well. Perhaps Galileo Galilei will suit Ms. Manson's style better.
The chorus was outstanding and sharp as a tack. Robert Ainsley should have been there to take a bow during the curtain calls.
Ditto to the favorable comments on the sets, costumes and lighting. They and the stage direction were just fine. Thank you Portland Opera for another wonderful experience.

Love'sGreatReward's picture

I, too, marveled that her

I, too, marveled that her voice never waivered as she lifted and carried the child.
What a gift she possesses; very fine, indeed!

This was a wonderful

This was a wonderful production-- very touching, warm and believable. The principals' voices and acting were superb, the sets were beautiful and the orchestra was in top form. This was the best Butterfly we have seen. Kudos to all. Looking forward with great anticipation to Galileo!

My guest and her friends all

My guest and her friends all commented that the voices did not carry as they would have liked.

Although I enjoyed the voices of Madama Butterfly, Sharpless, Suzuki and others I was really turned off by the slapstick.

What value, besides distraction, was there to the three American naval officers overdrinking and foisting their flasks on the Japanese characters?

The twirling of the American flag by the marriage broker and the flag vest of the offical were cheap laughs that did not add to the drama.

Yes the director gets to add her/his view but MB wielding the crucifix as if warding off a vampire didn't work for me.

Kelly Kaduce has an amazing

Kelly Kaduce has an amazing voice. She was so believable in the role that I was crying at the death scene. This opera was a wonderful experience. The lighting was excellent. The little boy is really three years old. It is rare to find a child so young able to follow directions in such a setting. The entire production was superb.

Kelly Kaduce has an amazing

Kelly Kaduce has an amazing voice. She was so believable in the role that I was crying at the death scene. This opera was a wonderful experience. The lighting was excellent. The little boy is really three years old. It is rare to find a child so young able to follow directions in such a setting. The entire production was superb.

The production and

The production and performance was dazzling! Kelly Kaduce outdid herself.

One of the few times in recent years that I was so moved by a performance that I left with tears in my eyes.

Ed Gronke

laura's picture

It was a thrilling

It was a thrilling experience! Ms. Kaduce's voice was nuanced, emotional, and powerful. I also heard her as Mimi a few years back, and recall that she shone in that role as well. I used three tissues at the end.
Lovely sets and lighting. Mr. Honeywell's voice seemed a bit weak, at times drowned out by the orchestra, although he rose to the third act beautifully. The orchestra's playing was so well done!

Spectacular sets and

Spectacular sets and lighting! Portland Operas are always a feast for the eyes as well as the ears.

The performance was

The performance was beautiful, expressive and emotional. Ms. Kaduce was powerful, Mr. Honeywell was a truly vile 'user' (hence the boo/applause)in his first act performance. Each performer was excellent and contributed to the success as a whole. Even though I knew what was going to happen I found myself teary eyed at the end, a testament to how wrapped up I became. All in all an excellent production. One wish, if there was a way to have the translation on the sides instead of the top things would be perfect!

This was the first live opera

This was the first live opera my wife and I have seen. It was fantastic! Kelly Kaduce was as good a Butterfly as we've heard. The sets were wonderful, too; very intimate. All in all, we couldn't have asked for more. Can't wait for next season.

Magnificient! I was really

Magnificient! I was really looking forward to hearing Kelly Kaduce again after hearing her sing Mimi and was not let down. Cant't say which I like better now she is perfect for both those rolls. So vulnerable and yet so strong. The little boy was amazing, such composure for such a little guy. The first act I was not too sure about Roger Honeywell but he came back really strong in act 2 and 3. The entire cast was just wonderful. This is about the 5th production of Butterfly I have seen and it's only the 2nd that has brought me to tears at the end. Mr. Mattaliano - "BRAVO!!"

Madame Butterfly was on my

Madame Butterfly was on my Bucket List. What a joy! Even though I knew exactly what was going to happen, the end still brought tears to my eyes. BTW, the little boy- OMG - what a cutie! He nearly stole the show.

Stunning! I was up on my

Stunning! I was up on my feet screaming "Bravo!" the moment the curtain went up at the end and Kelly appeared alone on the stage! Just delightful. Her energy in voice, spirit, body movement carried the day. What a joy!

What joy to hear Kelly

What joy to hear Kelly Kaduce! Please arrange opportunities for us to enjoy her amazing voice and acting talent in the future! With such soaring tone and strength from a fragile appearing character, we were immediately engaged in affection for Cio-Cio-San.

Roger Honeywell's voice seemed too small to compete with the overly energetic orchestra. It required effort to hear him which distracted from just entering into the experience. It seems that often the orchestra competes with, rather than accompanying, operatic performances.

Conductor Manson was very dynamic, but a more subtle touch might have given better support to this beautiful and carefully composed music.

The sets were beautiful!!! The changes were subtle; I would suddenly become aware that the lighting had changed, but the changing never detracted from the beauty of the music.

And the child! Amazing to find someone small enough to appear to be three years old and yet be able to do what was required to tell the story - Wow!

We are so looking forward to next year's season. It will be good to be able to enjoy the tried and true - and all sung in italian!

Thanks for all the wonderful work you do! Bravo!

What a fantastic performance!

What a fantastic performance! All the singers were wonderful but I especially enjoyed Kelly Kaduce. She made the performance look effortless when it is anything but.