Plazas spread­ing her wings

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Weekly Life -

Plazas in the ti­tle role.

The highly ac­claimed pro­duc­tion of Puc­cini’s opera, com­bin­ing cin­e­matic im­agery and tra­di­tional Ja­panese the­atre, will con­tinue Minghella’s legacy with a sea­son dur­ing Perth In­ter­na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val 2015, where Plazas will reprise her role along­side orig­i­nal con­duc­tor David Parry.

The in­ter­na­tional cast will be joined by WA Opera Cho­rus and West Aus­tralian Sym­phony Orches­tra.

“I’d worked on other roles be­fore but noth­ing like this with some­one as renowned and fa­mous as An­thony Minghella,” Plazas said.

“He said from day one he wanted to keep it as sim­ple and clear as pos­si­ble. Noth­ing ex­trane- ous, no ex­tras that weren’t to do with the emo­tion and story. It’s al­ready a huge piece and un­der­tak­ing, so to want to keep it down to the raw de­tail was fan­tas­tic.”

Plazas, who last per­formed with WA Opera in 2007’s LaBo­heme, said Minghella had longed to work on an opera since di­rect­ing an opera scene in TheTa­lent­edMrRi­p­ley.

“It sparked some­thing in him, and his wife Carolyn is half Ja­panese, so they liked the idea of sourc­ing that cul­ture to­gether,” she said.

“He was go­ing to do another opera most def­i­nitely. The MET were al­ready in talks about other projects, as well as the (London) Coli­seum, but his un­timely death pre­vented all that.”

De­scrib­ing the role of Cio-Cio San as “her Ever­est”, Plazas said her favourite part of the tragic love story, about a Ja­panese girl who falls in love with an Amer­i­can naval of­fi­cer, was But­ter­fly’s brav­ery.

“I love the fact that she is so in­tensely brave with­out re­al­is­ing that she is,” Plazas said.

“The thing that kills her is the hope. She lives on hope and fan­tasy in essence to get away from some­thing she’s feared all her life.”

Pic­ture: An­drew Ritchie­mu­ni­ d428743

Mary Plazas is set to star as Cio-Cio San in Madama But­ter­fly as part of the Perth In­ter­na­tional Arts Fes­ti­val.

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