I left the Ukrainian National Opera's performance of Madama Butterfly with mixed feelings last night. I was very proud indeed of my 5-year-old daughter, who had just played the role of the child Sorrow. She was on stage for an hour, and she wasn't feeling at all well, but she pulled it off like a good'un. As she often reminds me, "Grandpa used to say, 'the show must go on'". We had to dose her up with paracetemol and ibuprofen, but she did it. There aren't too many 5-year-olds who can put that in their CV.
But - as for the opera itself - what a crock! It was well-performed, especially by Butterfly herself, but honestly, what a lightweight script. How clumsy the set-up for Pinkerton's inevitable betrayal, how wearisome the endless twittering about love being like stars or flowers or whatever, how annoying the almost complete lack of anything actually happening. And not one memorable tune...apart from the one memorable tune, of course.
I'm not a great opera lover - obviously - but really, come on Puccini. You ain't no Mozart, dude!