Search

Madam Butterfly - Theatre Review

15:09 10 January 2011

Madam Butterfly at London

Madam Butterfly at London's Little Opera House.

Archant

OperaUpClose present the most exciting production of Puccini’s Madam Butterfly since Malcolm Mclaren’s re-mix made the pop charts, at the London’s Little Opera House at the King’s Head Theatre in Upper Street, Islington.

THE BACK room of a north London pub is not where you’d expect to find a full length opera, complete with live music and a new libretto. But that’s exactly what OperaUpClose have done at the King’s Head, a theatre pub in Islington.

In this ballsy retelling of Puccini’s tragic love story, the action takes place in modern day Bangkok, where Butterfly is a 15-year-old ladyboy and Pinkerton an American Airlines pilot.

A piano, viola and clarinet are charged with bringing Puccini’s classic score to life. While they do so commendably, regular opera goers looking for something more orchestral may be disappointed.

The singing is a little patchy and scratchy in places and hardly helped by the acoustic challenges of the venue. Nevertheless, the production is not without talent. Randy Nichol deserves a special mention for his portrayal of the treacherous Pinkerton and there are some nice moments from Mariya Krywaniuk as Butterfly and Alison Dunne, her maid.

At just a fraction of the cost of a visit to the Royal Opera House or the Coliseum, this intimate and admirable production is surprisingly enjoyable. Flawed but fun, it’s the most exciting thing to happen to Madam Butterfly since Malcolm Mclaren’s re-mix made the pop charts in 1984.

* Showing at London’s Little Opera House at the King’s Head Theatre in Upper Street, N1, until Sunday, January 23.

0 comments

Latest Entertainment Stories

Thursday, July 30, 2015
Steven Gallagher, Penny Woolcock and Gideon Berger at the Roundhouse. Picture: Helen Maybanks

Artist Penny Woolcock tells Anna Behrmann how she’s breaking down barriers for the Roundhouse’s latest project

Friday, July 24, 2015
Gracia Kayindo & Serafina Willow-Edwards

Anna Behrmann catches up with Brainstorm’s writers and actors to see why the play is making parents cry

Friday, July 24, 2015
The Gathered Leaves by
Andrew Keatley at The Park Theatre
Directed by Antony Eden
Cast
Jane Asher | Olivia Pennington 
Georgina Beedle | Emily Pennington 
Clive Francis | William Pennington Alexander Hanson | Giles Pennington 
Tom Hanson | Simon Pennington 
Amber James | Aurelia Ndjeya 
Nick Sampson | Samuel Pennington 
Katie Scarfe | Alice Pennington 
Anna Wilson-Jones | Sophie Pennington Hamish Brewster | Young Giles Pennington Oliver Buckner | Young Samuel Pennington

Marianka Swain finds the piece compassionate but too conventional

Thursday, July 23, 2015
Tete a Tete opera festival in King's Cross

This King’s Cross new opera festival is hit and miss, but well worth a visit, says Michael White.

Most read entertainment

Competitions

You could be zooming around a track of your choice!

Are you a competitive adrenaline junkie with a need for speed? Or looking for a fun family day out?

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Islington Gazette e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder