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photos by Mike Riggs

Madama Butterfly

Shreveport Opera, 2006

an opera by Puccini

directed by Chuck Hudson

Louis Menendez conducting the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra

scenery by G. Alan Rusnak

at the Riverview Theatre, Shreveport


What struck me as most memorable was not the music but rather the calmly composed visions. The costumes were colorful but never baroque. The home of Pinkerton was plainly elegant, flanked by blossoming trees and the occasional candle. Arguments were played without grand, distracting gestures. The cast always seemed to float in and out of view, never upstaging the two lovers.

Only three times did the look change dramatically.

First, we saw it when Butterfly and Suzuki were waiting for Pinkerton to return and flower petals snowed from the rafters. Gorgeous.

Secondly, we saw it as Butterfly kept vigil for Pinkerton. With her back turned to the audience for 10 minutes, she stared into the distance and watched the sky change slowly through a series of tranquil colors. Riveting.

And thirdly, we saw if after Butterfly took her own life and petals again fell from the rafters, blinking in and out of view under soft light. Heartbreaking.

-Alexandyr Kent, Shreveport Times

& musical theater