madama butterfly

central city opera

June 2010


LIGHTING DESIGN | David Martin Jacques

CONDUCTOR | Matthew Halls

CAST | Yunah Lee | Chad Shelton | Grant Youngblood | Mika Shigematsu | Joseph Gaines

PHOTOGRAPHY | Mark Kiryluk

The Denver Post | Sabine Kortals | June 2010

“In this repeat of the CCO’s 2005 production of ‘Madama Butterfly,’ director Catherine Malfitano successfully emphasizes the theme of honorable death and Cio-Cio-San’s inevitable fate...  For Malfitano, less is more. Her no-frills, minimalist staging allows the music and the drama to unfold freely and naturally, unencumbered by gratuitous distractions.”

Denver Performing Arts Examiner| Claudia Carbone | June 2010

“Malfitano made her directorial debut with Butterfly in Central City in 2005 which at that time many said was the best of this popular opera they had ever seen. Last night, they were making the same comment. This is a much different, more intimate and more visceral interpretation of Puccini’s beloved work than her 2005 version.” | Bob Bows | July 2010

“The last time that Central City Opera performed this classic piece, acclaimed soprano Catherine Malfitano made her directorial debut with an electrifying and politically pointed production that underscored the universality of Madame Butterfly and its relevancy in our present world. Remarkably, in the present production at the same charming venue Malfitano is able to up the stakes. She does this by keeping the staging simple and close, which, in the intimate setting of the opera house, makes for an intensely personal experience.”

Opera Today | Wes Blomster | July 2010

“[Madama Butterfly] returned to the historic CCO house on Saturday, and it’s even more brilliant than it was five years ago. Malfitano has focused her experienced attention on two aspects of the opera to achieve this...[she] adds the late non-singing father to Puccini’s cast. White-clad with long beard, he disembowels himself on stage before the music begins. ...Malfitano’s second stroke of genius comes with the love duet that ends Act One. ...In this staging [Pinkerton and Butterfly] slowly undress each other. ...It’s done with impeccable taste, mesmerizing slowness and controlled delicacy until the two are silhouetted in embrace against an orange moon. Like a nerve laid bare, this brings the intense sexual undercurrent of the music to the surface, where it stays for the remainder of the staging. Puccini has never had it so good! ...This is...Puccini staged by a troupe of masters...others exaggerate tricks and trivia to rescue Butterfly from its own popularity. Malfitano knows it’s all there in the music and stages the opera with maximum simplicity-and impact. There may never be another Butterfly like it.”