reviewed by Paula Citron
Composed by Giacomo Puccini
Conducted by Daniel Lipton
Directed by Graham Cozzubbo
Starring Ailan Zhu, Gordon Gietz, Gaétan Laperrière, Lauren Segal, Gerald Isaac and Sean Watson
At Hamilton Place Apr. 2 and 3
Opera Hamilton is currently presenting a very moving production of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly that’s worth the schlep down the Queen E.
Under director Graham Cozzubbo, the opera treatment is on the traditional side of things, but that’s not bad when the stage action is closely tied to the text, especially since conductor Daniel Lipton is in the pit. Lipton is one of the masters of musical drama, and not one tiny nuance of the score slips by him. His interpretation is simply wonderful.
The singers are mostly all-Canadian and are uncommonly good. Chinese-born Ailan Zhu as Cio-Cio-San has a thrilling, arching voice. Talented Gordon Gietz as Pinkerton shows he’s grown into leading man material, while Gaétan Laperrière as Sharpless can never do wrong. Lauren Segal is one of the strongest Suzukis ever, both vocally and dramatically.
In short, the production is weepy Puccini through and through.
Madama Butterfly continues at Hamilton Place Apr. 2 and 3.