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Aurora Opera House's highly successful production of ‘Madama Butterfly’

What a Madama Butterfly this was! There was a first-class cast of principals. Soprano Federica Vitali was a visually beautiful Cio-Cio-San who eagerly tries to leave her past behind her and embrace an alien culture by marrying Pinkerton. She reneges on the religion of her forebears, relatives and friends in a quite obvious clash of cultures, which runs like a thread in the entire opera. Vitali is a truly impressive singing-actress. She smoothly tackled the transition from adolescence to womanhood, retaining utter faith and hope in preserving her marriage to what proves to be a worthless man. The feverish hope at the prospect of meeting him again is pitiful because we know how it will end. This makes the latter scene with Sharpless all the more poignant as she is filled with intense joy and expectation. Sharpless does not have the heart to tell her the full truth. However, a singer like her made one join her, going against reality and final dénouement; we tend to rebel against the obvious, hoping with her that she would triumph. She did triumph in her Un bel dì vedremo. That is until the devastating truth hit home. Despairing, she could not but cling to one of her innately unchanged values: that death was better than living dishonourably.

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www.independent.com.mtAlbert G. Storace

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