Opera Scotland

Madam Butterfly 2016Amande Concerts

Read more about the opera Madama Butterfly

Only a week after the end of the Edinburgh Festival, the autumn opera season got under way with Amande Concerts presenting a two-night weekend visit with Madama Butterfly on Saturday and Carmen on Sunday. The company, Russian State Opera, one of the regional opera houses from Russia, was new to Scotland, though they toured down south at the beginning of this year, with the same staging of Butterfly.  Later this autumn they will also bring their ballet troupe.

These were unusual visitors to Dunfermline's attractive Alhambra Theatre, which has not staged much opera in the years since its very welcome restoration. This company is based in the town of Syktyvkar, capital of the republic of Komi, located to the north of Moscow. Musical standards were high, with a good orchestra of thirty. The chorus has relatively little to do in Butterfly, but were fine.  In an otherwise soundly traditional staging, with some excellent lighting effects, the chorus came on carrying lanterns for the overnight vigil during the Humming Chorus, rather than the audience hearing them offstage, as Puccini intended.

The principals were generally of a high standard, but the Cio-Cio-San, Olga Georgieva, was particularly good - a beautiful, sweet-toned soprano with the necessary power for the big climaxes. She was also a more subtle actor than some of the performers. Most of the roles were double or triple-cast for the month, and the opening Pinkerton, Mikhail Makarov, a member of the Mariinsky company in Edinburgh a couple of years ago, also had an excellent approach to his part. He sang with a nice lyrical tone, again showing plenty of power when needed. The Dunfermline audience appeared to have picked up the recently-developed habit in this country of booing the villain as well as cheering the performer at the curtain-call. This must be disconcerting for a tenor, but he took it in good part, and was, of course, cheered when he joined the full line-up.

It is cheering to think that this venue may become a regular stop on the tours of this highly-accomplished company. The two performances in Dunfermline were the only Scottish dates, and the first in an extensive tour through September taking in Shanklin, Lowestoft, Harlow, Stevenage, Clacton, Peterborough, Tunbridge Wells, Scunthorpe, London (Cadogan Hall), Llandudno, Blackpool, Chesterfield, Crewe, Harrogate, Halifax, Cheltenham, Yeovil, Weymouth, Lincoln, York, Scarborough and Billingham.

When this opera tour ends, the ballet company takes over - Dunfermline sees them on Monday 3 October (Nutcracker) and Tuesday, 4 October (Sleeping Beauty). Nutcracker will also be given at the Perth Concert Hall on Friday 25 November.


Performance Cast

Lieutenant F B Pinkerton U S Navy

Mikhail Makarov

Goro marriage broker

Sergei Zurkov

Suzuki Cio-Cio-San's servant

Galina Malikova

Sharpless U S Consul in Nagasaki

Andrei Kovalev

Cio-Cio-San known as Madam Butterfly

Olga Georgieva

Bonze a priest, Cio-Cio-San's uncle

Nikolai Glebov

Prince Yamadori

Mikhail Larmolskii

Performance DatesMadam Butterfly 2016

Map List

Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline | Dunfermline

3 Sep, 19.30

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