La Traviata, Carmen and now Madame Butterfly – the three works so far presented by Opera Australia at Mrs Macquarie’s Point have much more in common than their beautiful Sydney Harbour settings (my program says). They were all catastrophic failures when they were first presented to the public.
The current performance of Madame Butterfly is anything but and when I attended had a much happier result – of a standing ovation.
Madame Butterfly – the Japanese love story by Giacomo Puccini, has been updated. Staging they say is an important part of enjoying live theatre. Well it is for me. The visual, the aesthetic is why we watch as well as listen. Not a newcomer to opera, though not I’ll admit a passionate devotee, I was sceptical about the modernisation of Madame Butterfly for the current season of the Handa Opera on Sydney Harbour. But the modern staging, costumes and choreography well suited both the opera and the settng. Fireworks! And a rising sun were included and complimented a stunning musical performance. Brava! Hyesoung Kwon.
Dining beforehand in the Platinum Club set the stage for us in other ways. Events organiser Fresh Catering had Japanese parasols decorating the ceilings. And had created a tasty and Japanese inspired menu to not only feed our bodies but also feed our souls before the show. And get us in the mood… And it did…
Being part of such a monumental event is always a thrill for Fresh Catering, Managing Director, Peter McCloskey. “Each year, Opera Australia create a magical event and it inspires us to design a truly memorial evening for all those attending,” he says. “The beauty about this event is its sheer size. It allows us to develop menus which have great diversity.”
“This year, we’ve developed Japanese inspired menus to suit every taste and budget from premium dining in the Platinum Club where guests can enjoy a three course pre-opera luxury dining experience with one of the most stunning backdrops on Sydney Harbour; the Northern Cantina for a Japanese twist on tapas style share plates, the Northern and Southern Terrace for a broad range of Japanese inspired burgers, and a range of desserts including a sweet bento box and the Adina Garden Bar for lovers of noodles.”
Loved the food as well as the opera. Bravo Peter McCloskey and Fresh Catering Executive Chef Mark Adler.
Madama Butterfly is showing 21 March – 12 April 2014 at the Fleet Steps, The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney.
Tickets and information (+61 2) 9318 8300 opera.org.au/whatson/events/operaonsydneyharbour