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Madame Butterfly

Catriona Clark and Rowan Redfarn

Opera Bohemia’s ‘Madame Butterfly’ in the Hayward Theatre in Ely on Saturday was wonderful.

The singing was superb, the actions measured and strongly symbolic, and the accompaniment robust and supportive. The underlying ecstasy, pain and anguish of Puccini’s style were beautifully captured.

The characters were well defined. Catriona Clark in portraying the betrayed central character Cio-Cio San, sang magnificently carrying the pathos and fragility of her character particularly well. American sailor, B.F. Pinkerton (David Lynn) was a good match and Suzuki (Louise Collett) a good friend.

Mention must be made of the highly impressive control and naturalness of young actor Rowan Redfarn playing Sorrow. The consular office, Sharpless, played by Whitaker Mills, Goro (Kenneth Reid) and Madeleine (Joy Wilson) all assisted the plot expertly and Kate (Fiona Mackenzie) was an excellent unwitting thorn the side of Madame ‘Pinkerton’.

Andrew Brown on piano, ably assisted by Feargus Hetherington on violin, helped the emotional drama of the show rise and fall powerfully.

Costumes and staging also added to the atmosphere, especially Madame Butterfly’s costume and the English translation overhead helped us understand the Italian. It was very pleasing to hear the music sung in its original language for words and music were designed to gel together and so created a stunning effect that kept us spellbound.

Congratulations must go to the director John Wilkie and his team for such a splendid performance.

For more information about Opera Bohemia, contact: www.operabohemia.co.uk/

Meet The Author...
Rosemary Westwell
Who Am I?

Australian-born teacher and writer Dr Rosemary Westwell (PhD, MA Ed, MA TESOL, B Mus. BA Hons) lives in Cambridgeshire, England. She completed her PhD in 2007 on ‘The Development of Language Acquisition in a Mature Learner’ ( available free on: http://eprints.ioe.ac.uk/48/). She writes a column for the Ely Standard, directs a ladies’ choir (‘The Isle Singers’)  and is a member of her local council.

Her husband suffers from dementia and is in a care home. They have two daughters and six children who live in the UK.

Other publications, including ‘Twenty Tips for Teaching IGCSE ESL’, ‘Teaching Language Learners’ and her novels ‘John, Dementia and Me’ and ‘John’s Shadow’ which are  available on www.amazon.com

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