Madama Butterfly at Aberystwyth Arts Centre

205 Reviews

Star Travel Rating


Review type

Things to do


Date of travel

June, 2018

Product name

Product country

Product city

Travelled with


Reasons for trip

Madama Butterfly – live broadcast from Glyndebourne Festival 2018, in Italian with English subtitles on screen.

We have seen several versions of Madame Butterfly, my favourite opera by Puccini, but all seem to add something different. This one is particularly powerful as it is set in 1950s Japan which makes for an even more damning reflection on US nay personnel stationed there after World War II. This is also emphasized by regular news reel images (real footage) in the background of young Japanese brides being taken to America with their new husbands.

The point is made that Butterfly as a character had real expectations for her marriage so was not just a naïve 15-year-old girl. Pinkerton, however, makes a joke that his 999-year lease on the house, and his marriage, can legally be cancelled with just one month’s notice.

A live broadcast on screen means that you get to see much more than if you are in the audience for the live performance. We saw a fascinating interview with the young conductor, very charming and funny, noting that yes, the tome of music changes after the first act, but the audience have had lots to eat and drink in the interval so may not notice!

Excellent performance, particularly Olga Busuioc as Butterfly and Elizabeth DeShong as Suzuki, and we all loved the little boy who played her son – brilliant composure as he was clutched to his mother’s bosom during her final aria! Powerful voices of Pinkerton and Sharpless, but definitely a hint of “boo” as Pinkerton comes on stage with the full cast for final applause. There is little to encourage empathy with his character, and the whole piece is masterfully written and composed to bring the audience along with Butterfly on her tragic journey, a powerful message considering when it was written by Puccini and the unfavourable reception when it was first performed. But it still makes me cry no matter how many times I see it!


Join the club

Become a member to receive exclusive benefits

Our community is the heart of Silver Travel Advisor, we love nothing more than sharing ideas, inspiration, hints and tips between us.

Come feel the love on a Princess cruise. You’ll enjoy the MedallionClass experience others simply can’t, and it’s exclusively for everyone. Visit incredible destinations and be involved in the best experiences around each one of them.

Experience more with Princess and connect effortlessly with the world around you, spend time away with loved ones, take a moment for yourself, and fall in love with your holiday of a lifetime, every time.

With over 20 years of experience, Wendy Wu Tours has mastered the art of creating exceptional, fully inclusive tours which showcase the very best of each destination.

Each tour is led by a world-class guide, who will highlight the very best of their homeland, and includes authentic cultural experiences so you are not just seeing the sights, but truly immersing yourself in local life.

Say hello to ease at sea. Ambassador’s purpose is simple: they want to inspire every guest to experience authentic cruising, effortlessly and sustainably. Passionate about protecting our oceans and destinations, their ships comply with the highest industry emission standards and there is no single-use plastic on board.

On your voyage, you will receive the warmest of welcomes from the Ambassador community as you sail upon the friendliest ships afloat.

This is a global co-operative co-owned by local partners using real local experts and guides, which supports local communities, environments and wildlife. It offers travellers quirky places to stay, activity holidays and learning experiences. Not In The Guidebooks gets travellers off the beaten track into local culture with day experiences and longer, immersive adventures.

From wild wellness breaks in Wales to painting in Portugal, sustainable adventures in Mauritius to food safaris in Brazil, this is immersive, exciting travel.

Seabourn’s five intimate ships carry guests to the heart of great cities, exclusive yacht harbours and secluded coves around the world, while two new purpose-built expedition ships will combine exhilarating adventures in remote destinations with the sophisticated amenities of the world’s finest resorts at sea.

From the luxury of all suite accommodations to complimentary fine wines and spirits, and a no tipping policy, Seabourn exemplifies the definition of travelling well.