Puccini MADAMA BUTTERFLY, Met 17.10.2006; Fisch; Gallardo-Domas, Giordani, Zifchak, Fedderly, Croft.
Madama Butterfly was everything and more at tonight's performance. Gallardo-Domas' voice still isn't the key to the production, but her acting is on target. Even though her voice is almost shrill, it is effective especially in conveying Butterfly's heartbreak. Giordani nailed the role of the jerk and after hearing him in Giocanda last week, his voice is growing on me. Croft and Zifchak practically stole the show with their flawless performances. It's still Puccini. It's still beautiful. But after seeing the dress rehearsal from an orchestra seat, opening night from a plaza seat and last night from a first row family circle seat, it's clear that the real star is the production itself. As the curtain rises on a black stage, it's chilling the way that Butterfly as a geisha makes her entrance slowly from the back of the stage against a screen of red. The orchestra has not played a note, yet the silence is enthralling. As Butterfly descends, the orchestra begins and dancers dressed totally in black, almost invisible, pull yards of red silk from her sash and begin a ballet. It is the most powerful moment I have ever seen on stage. The bar is set high here, and the production stays at that height thoughout. The house was sold out last night. The curtain call is pretty fantastic itself.
And guess who was there? I think she's following me.
Bonus Siting: 2-time Tony winner Brían F. O'Byrne was waiting for the downtown 1 train with Sally and me.