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Ensemble

Imaginative Artistry

'Madama Butterfly' in Los Angeles,
enjoyed by MARIA NOCKIN

 

On 1 February 2006 Los Angeles Opera presented the Robert Wilson production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly, originally seen there in 2004. Although his productions are controversial and very different from those of other directors, he has a solid fan base. Described by the New York Times as 'a towering figure in experimental theater', Wilson speaks of his production of Madama Butterfly with the following words: 'I have conceived a decor of extreme simplicity because the music is rich and moving enough.'

Stephen Cruz as Trouble, Margaret Thompson as Suzuki and Patricia Racette as Cio-Cio-San in the Los Angeles Opera production of 'Madama Butterfly'. Photo © 2006 Robert Millard
Stephen Cruz as Trouble, Margaret Thompson as Suzuki and Patricia Racette as Cio-Cio-San in the Los Angeles Opera production of 'Madama Butterfly'. Photo © 2006 Robert Millard

The production, first seen at Paris's Bastille in 1993, is very far removed from any traditional telling of the story and it basically relies on the audience knowing enough of the tale to appreciate the visual beauty of its choreographed poses. The austere stage environment was created from natural materials by the director with the help of scenic designer Stephanie Engeln and the original imaginative costumes were conceived by Frida Parmeggiani.

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Copyright © 26 February 2006 Maria Nockin, Arizona USA

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