This feminine ‘Butterfly’ speaks to the heart. The orchestra, coloured with muted brass and oriental percussion, magically conjures up distant Japan but ‘Butterfly’ is never a sugar-sweet romance. Ellen Kent’s beautifully traditional production concentrates on the fragility and peril of young Butterfly and her child.
Pretty, pert and trusting, a self-confident teenager in Act One, Elena Dee became determined and tragic as the maternal Butterfly. She sang most exquisitely throughout, very sensitively supported by Viktoriia Zhytkova’s Suzuki.
The little boy impishly playing with flowers almost steals the show, making his fate and the opera’s dreadful climax all the more poignant.
Congress Theatre, Eastbourne, 14 February 2012