This diaphanously executed opera about a wealthy American naval officer who abandons his Japanese wife revolves thematically around the image of a butterfly being caught and pinned down just to be part of a collection of beautiful things, but is killed in the process. Madama Butterfly, played by Chinese soprano Liping Zhang, gives voice to this brutal and selfish act.
What’s most noteworthy about this production of Giacomo Puccini’s operatic tragedy is the visual landscape that’s created with the minimalist but concisely appropriate scenic design that includes supporting cast members who are dressed and move like animated pieces of delicately crafted Japanese furniture. Although the opera’s narrative lacks enough dramatic action and movement to remain consistently engaging, it effectively manifests the feeling of desperate hope in the face of a careless act of abandonment.
Dorothy Chandler Pavilion is located at 135 N. Grand Ave.,?Los Angeles. For more information, visit laopera.com.