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

Friday, July 3, 2015
Sian Thomas (Mrs Grace) and Hugh Skinner (Block) in The Trial at the Young Vic. Picture: Keith Pattison

This unemotional Kafka is a certainly a trial, says Marianka Swain.

Thursday, July 2, 2015
Oresteia at the Almeida. Picture: Manuel Harlan

They’re the cradle of western drama, and now the Almeida theatre is basing a whole season around the Greek classics, its artistic director tells Bridget Galton.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Budding author Kat Gordon with her first book

Writer’s coming of age novel could see her own career take off

Wednesday, July 1, 2015
Beck dons his best cowboy attire at the Barbican. Picture: Mark Allan/Barbican

Making a special appearance at the venue, the alt-folk icon called on guests including Thurston Moore and Simon Armitage, says Alex Bellotti.

Most read entertainment

Competitions

Good times with Greenall's!

Good times with Greenall’s, a Great British gin sponsors Great British racing.

Escape to the picturesque sights of Cornwall

Summer is finally here, and what is the number one holiday location in the UK during the warmer months? Cornwall, of course!

Digital Edition

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


Our trusted business finder