Madama Butterfly, Ellen Kent - Opera & Ballet International, The Anvil, Basingstoke

THE COMMON misconception about opera is that it remains inaccessible to the masses. Surely this cultural pursuit is rifted by a divide in either class, age or education?

How wrong you would be.

If anything, isn’t the most universal language to us all the expression of emotion, encapsulating the complex truths of the human condition in a way that we can deeply feel and emphasise with?

Opera is a medium that can make you feel like no other. It resonates deeply, plucking each string of emotion within you like a magnificent harp.

This reworking of Puccini’s classic is crushingly devastating, perched to leave you on the verge of tears.

Set in the Japanese city of Nagasaki, the beautiful Butterfly, played by Cio-Cio-San, finds herself in a whirlwind marriage to an American lieutenant.

At only 15 she is but a child, yet falls deeply for the American, in a powerful infatuation.

Butterfly however finds herself crushed as her love returns to America, after regaling her with false promises of his return at the time “when the robins build their nests”.

Desperately butterfly clings on to the dream of this perfect life she glimpsed, abandoned by her family and friends, the lieutenant is the only salvation preventing the young girl from returning to her pre-married life a as Geisha.

The hauntingly beautiful rendition of One Fine Day was a sure highlight of the overall exceptional performance.

For anybody wishing to experience the majesty of opera, whether for the first time or as a seasoned attendee, this performance by Opera & Ballet International embodies all that is commendable within this fine art, that allows you to both see and hear the world differently than before.

By Rebecca Rayner

To see more of Opera & Ballet International's performance of Madama Butterfly, watch the trailer below.