Sydney Arena - - ENTERTAINM­ENT - By Jane Welling­ton

Ex­pect the un­ex­pected and you won’t be dis­ap­pointed.

But keep an open mind if you want to ab­sorb the artistry of chore­og­ra­pher/ di­rec­tor Graeme Mur­phy’s dar­ingly ex­ploratory view con­tained in his techno-savvy pro­duc­tion of Puc­cini’s Madama But­ter­fly that is show­ing in the gran­deur of the Syd­ney Opera House un­til Au­gust 10.

It was Opera Aus­tralia’s chal­lenge to fol­low up Mof­fatt Ox­en­bould’s main­stream stag­ing in 1997.

And Mur­phy didn’t dis­ap­point with his won­der­ful mod­ern­iza­tion of one of the most tra­di­tional and pop­u­lar purely canon op­eras.

The pro­duc­tion hits the mark from the very be­gin­ning with the stun­ning Madama But­ter­fly de­scend­ing from the heav­ens bounded in a gi­ant winged shibari.

The scenes trans­form into a up­mar­ket orgy with men crawl­ing and women sus­pended by ropes in the air.

Yet, rev­e­lently, the some­what un­set­tling im­age works stun­ningly. Cer­tainly Mur­phy’s use of 12 high-def­i­ni­tion LED screens, a dig­i­tal maze of sorts that some­how slides in­side out, back and forth with sub­mis­sive ser­vants sip­ping on their liq­uids of de­sire.

The machi­na­tions of sex and tech­nol­ogy is the core of Mur­phy’s artistry that does much, much more than sim­ply point to peo­ple ob­jec­ti­fi­ca­tion.

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