I was lucky enough to attend the première of Madame Butterfly at the Opéra de Massy. This is probably Giacomo Puccini’s most modern opera.
We arrive at the opera house 20 minutes early, quickly go inside and head for the auditorium door. We take our seats, the hall fills up and, at 8 pm, the lights go out and the Opéra de Massy conductor, Dominique Rouits, arrives to the audience’s applause.
As soon as the curtain goes up, the magic operates. We’re delighted by the beautiful blend of voices and instruments. The Opera is performed in Italian and translated into French on a screen. For a whole hour I’m transported by this love story between a young Geisha and an American Officer named Pinkerton.
After an hour it’s time for the interval. Alexandra, a member of the Opéra de Massy Orchestra, suggests a tour behind the scenes. We get a preview showing of the stage set for the second part of the performance.
We then head for the artists’ dressing rooms where we bump into a smiling Pinkerton outside his door. I seize the opportunity to have a photo taken with him. I also get a glimpse of Madame Butterfly’s son as he prepares to go on stage. Incidentally, this young artist for the evening is actually a resident of Massy.
Next, we head towards the musicians’ break room, before finishing the tour in the orchestra pit where the musicians play during the Opera performance.
It’s time to return to my seat. The curtain rises again to reveal Madame Butterfly waiting to meet her American officer, Pinkerton. For an hour and 45 minutes, emotions run high as I witness the suffering of Madame Butterfly.
The curtain falls amid thundering applause. The artists return to the stage for their bows and the audience applauds, louder and louder. The emotion is so strong it sends shivers down my spine.
Opéra de Massy