Tag Archives: Anthony Legge

Madama Butterfly @ The Dame Joan

Sian Pendry as Suzuki and Alexia Voulgaridou as Cio-Cio-San
Sian Pendry as Suzuki and Alexia Voulgaridou as Cio-Cio-San

Puccini’s early twentieth century opera MADAMA BUTTERFLY offers soloists and audience much of what they relish in the genre. The main characters are complex, with savage twists and turns in their emotional journeys. The music serves the drama well as the compact storyline hurtles towards its terrible conclusion.

The design and dramatic realisation of this Opera Australia production makes for a spellbinding night of theatre. The commitment of the cast to convey timeless feelings, struggles and the unique beauty of Puccini’s score ensures this example of opera is always fresh and relevant for 2015.

Conductor Anthony Legge brings the score to life with clarity and focus in moments of conversation, atmosphere or large arias alike. The brass entries with fragments of the US national anthem penetrate hauntingly.

Continue reading Madama Butterfly @ The Dame Joan

The Magic Flute @ The Joan

Emma Matthews as The Queen of the Night. Photo by Branco Gaica
Emma Matthews as The Queen of the Night. Photo by Branco Gaica

Opera Australia is currently revisiting the Metropolitan Opera’s production of THE MAGIC FLUTE, first performed in Sydney in 2014. It is a stunning and simply beautiful illustration of the endurance of opera in a modern guise. Its scenes repeatedly proclaim opera as fantastic with high Fs, as well as resoundingly relevant in our modern creative world.

Mozart and librettist Schikaneder would love the transformation of their shifting dramatic epicentres and colourful characters in this production. The hyper-realism of tensions between the powerful Queen of the Night and the order of enlightened initiatives and priests is emphasised by Julie Taymor’s puppetry design and layered costumes. Continue reading The Magic Flute @ The Joan