Opera Scotland

Madam Butterfly 2008Ellen Kent Productions

Read more about the opera Madama Butterfly

Ellen Kent's spring 2008 tour brought back the Ukarainian company from Odessa, who had already become familiar and welcome visitors. The two operas were also old favourites - perhaps, it sometimes seems, just a bit too familiar - Madama Butterfly and La traviata.

This tour started on Ellen Kent's home turf in Dartford, on 7 February, and ended a few miles down the road in Tunbridge Wells on 13 May. Between times the company, for whom the motorway network must be imprinted on their brains, travelled as far north as Dundee and Aberdeen, as far west as Cork and Limerick. There were four Scottish venues, four in Ireland, two in Wales and 32 in England. Butterfly, as usual, dominated the tour, with 52 performances (seven in Scotland), while the Verdi received 32, (three in Scotland). After the Aberdeen visit, the company visited Sunderland and Carlisle before taking in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.

The major newcomer on this tour was the young Korean soprano Elena Dee. Cio-Cio-San is a part that young sopranos are frequently cast in before they are ready for it, either vocally or dramatically. In this case, the early signs are that her performance is quite remarkable - a delicate waif-like physique allied to a sophisticated vocal technique and subtle acting. We can only hope that the career is in no way damaged by exposure to such heavy demands so early.

The tenors were familiar - good actors, youthful appearance and plenty of juice in the voice. The only drawback is perhaps to make Pinkerton seem merely thoughtless rather than callous or vicious. The rest of the cast was largely recognizable from previous tours, and of high quality.

Cast details are from the programme brochure and the insert list for 13 April.

Performance Cast

Lieut. F B Pinkerton U S Navy

Andriy Perfilov (Apr 13)

Ruslan Zinevych

Goro marriage broker

Anatol Arcea

Suzuki Cio-Cio-San's servant

Zarui Vardanean

Sharpless U S Consul in Nagasaki

Vladimir Dragos

Petru Racovita (Apr 13)

Cio-Cio-San known as Madam Butterfly

Elena Dee (Apr 13)

Maria Tsonina

Imperial Commissioner

Viorel Zgardan

Bonze a priest, Cio-Cio-San's uncle

Sergei Uzun

Prince Yamadori

Ruslan Pacatovici

Kate Pinkerton

Tatiana Virlan

Performance DatesMadam Butterfly 2008

Map List

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen | Aberdeen

28 Mar, 19.30 29 Mar, 19.30

Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow | Glasgow

8 Apr, 19.30

Reid Concert Hall, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

9 Apr, 19.30

Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh | Edinburgh

11 Apr, 19.30 12 Apr, 19.30

Caird Hall | Dundee

13 Apr, 19.30

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