Reviews – Madama Butterfly 2017

The critics applaud Madame Butterfly

The weekend 29-30:th of July, Opera på Skäret opened its production of Madame Butterfly. Both premières were singing for an almost packed opera house. Opening on 29 July were Elisabeth Teige, Aaron Cawley and Javier Franco. Joining them were Alex Tsilogiannis, Siv Oda Hagerupsen, Tadas Girininkas and Tor Lind. The second première was held on 30 July with Sandra Janusaite in the title role, Cody Austin as Pinkerton and Anton Eriksson as Sharpless.

Elisabeth Teige, who plays the title role was praised greatly by regional Swedish newspaper Nerikes Allehanda for her portrayal, particularly her way of presenting the words and blending them into the musical enchantment. Swedish national newspaper Svenska Dagbladet agrees that Elisabeth Teige makes an unprecedented performance, “In her interpretation Butterfly’s principal aria assumes a whole new character of despair.” Seen and Heard International also praise Elisabeth, feeling she delivered with a beautiful and strong voice, full of expression.

Aaron Cawley, who plays Pinkerton, the US Naval Officer, was also praised by Nerikes Allehanda and Svenska Dagbladet for his vocal efforts. The latter experiences his interpretation as “[…] a nuanced portrait of a weak but understandable person.”

OPS_MB_Janusaite_Eriksson_HagerupsenSeen and Heard International highlighted the opera’s four kurokos, Japanese stage hands, as a magical feature in Madame Butterfly.Both Nerikes Allehanda and Svenska Dagbladet pay special attention to Sven Östberg’s scenography, the latter taking the view that the Japanese and unadorned aesthetic fit well with the opera house, the former timber warehouse, and its raw, wooden walls. Leslie Swackhamer received great praise for her work bringing out life on the stage and demonstrating Butterfly’s strength. Svenska Dagbladet also mentions how Leslie brought out all of the characters on the stage; Siv Oda as Suzuki, Javier as Sharpless, Alex as Goro and Tor as Yamadori. The orchestra played convincingly under the direction of the dynamic Marcello Mottadelli. Suzuki is highlighted in Seen and Heard International’s review as the most fascinating character with a multifaceted personality.

In summary, Nerikes Allehanda felt thatOpera på Skäret has become an important cultural institution in the Swedish summer” and Svenska Dagbladet listed Opera på Skäret as number one on it’s list of five cultural experiences during a particular summer week.


Read the full review on Nerikes Allehanda’s website (paid link in Swedish)

Read the full review on Svenska Dagbladet’s website (paid link in Swedish).

Read the full review on Seen and Heard International’s website (in English)