And then there was no light!

The lights in the theatre go down, a hush in the auditorium and a tantalizing anticipation fills the air as the audience wait for the music to begin…. The conductor springs to the podium, his eagerness and energy beaming down on us in the orchestra. We’re off with force and gusto for the overture of Madame Butterfly, a sound of oohs and aaahs and the beautiful eruption of singing fills every corner of this damp, cold, old and decrepit place. It has become alive with the sound of music!

About half an hour in, Japanese Madame Butterfly has proclaimed her love for Pinkerton who is later to become her American husband and they are admiring their house on a little hill overlooking the harbour. A tender moment between the two before the arrival of Suzuki (Butterfly’s faithful maid) and her ladies….. The music is soft and the sound of the strings tremolo, trembling as she realises how completely and utterly in love she is with Pinkerton then……….


Never in my life have I ever experienced anything like it! Every light went out! A very smartly dressed audience begin to mumble disapprovingly, the orchestra desperately tries to continue for an extra bar or two, Butterfly diminuendos to nothing. Silence. Nervous giggles from the pit as someone tries to do something, anything!

Finally a torch comes darting across the stage and the house manager stands awkwardly in front of everyone, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry for the disruption to this evenings performance, we appear to have had a power failure of some sort (uh-huh, no s**t sherlock!) and we are just waiting for the generator to kick in so we can get started again. Please stay in your seats and we’ll be ready to start the performance again shortly.’ What felt like a very long 10 minutes we were up and running and Madame Butterfly was able to resume her tragic love story with the dreadful Pinkerton who in the end decides that Butterfly was just for a bit of fun. He marries someone else, takes away their child and she kills herself! You’ve got to love these tragic Opera stories! It was an extremely exciting performance and the audience certainly got what they came for, wonderful colourful costumes, a fabulous set complete with snow flakes, the most incredible talent, music, singing, dancing and the best lighting effects I’ve ever seen!

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