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Butterfly - a double header

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The Royal English Opera's production of Madame Butterfly

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Wow! It isn’t often you have two really great things in a row!

Last week, I had the great good fortune to see the San Francisco Opera’s production of Puccini’s Madame Butterfly. Now, just going to the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House is a grand experience, but when you add the magnificent performance rendered by Patricia Racette as Butterfly, well... it just doesn’t get much better.

Now, this past Saturday I saw a production by a small company, “The Royal English Opera.” All their productions are sung in English. All the performers are local and most are non professional people who sing for the pure joy of singing. The company is the love-child of singer-musician-voice instructor, Moira Greyland.

When I asked Ms. Greyland why a small opera company, she said, “... well, after teaching voice, I had all these damn good singers, and it seemed to me like I’d better put them to work.”

This past Saturday, I did see them at work and a damn good work it was. Of course without the resources of the San Francisco Opera Company, and the background of the War Memorial Opera House, one could not expect a performance of such scope and magnitude as that venue offers, but... let me say that if you attend “The Royal English Opera’s” production of Butterfly, you will not be disappointed in the least, and it will have been an evening well spent. In fact, I will make so bold as to say that when it came to tyhe costuming, The Royal English Opera’s made a far better showing than S.F. did. Not only is s Greyland a wor4ld class musician, she is also a costumer beyond compare. The kimonos of all the ladies were exquisite and this reporter feels like an utter ass because she forgot her camera.

There are several more performances of this worthy production over the next two weeks. I encourage you to take one of them in. Although everyone should have the opportunity to experience world class productions at venues like the San Francisco Opera House, it is also vital that we all support our local arts community. For more information about The Royal English Opera’s production of Madame Butterfly visit their Facebook Page.

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You may read more of me at The Questing Feast

and you may hear me on KGGV radio on Mondays from noon to 2:00 p.m.

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