A buzzing atmosphere over supper in the Eastwood Room set the scene for the Club’s outing to Puccini’s Madam Butterfly, writes Sally Whittall.
The Club’s chef and dining room staff excelled as usual and after a delicious early supper it was all aboard The Royal Albert Hall Express – waiting at the door of Number 3 Whitehall Court.
Lisbeth Rune’s plan ran like clockwork and after alighting at the RAH’s most accessible entrance we were soon finding our seats and settling down with plenty of time to absorb the magnificent set “in the round”.
Designer David Roger had achieved a breath-taking flooded performing area, which enabled the poignantly solitary world of Japanese geisha Cio-Cio-San (Madam Butterfly) to be played out in a way no conventional stage could provide.
The expanse of rippling water filled the entire ground floor arena, with heavy duty liners holding 15,000 gallons of water. The resulting spirit of communication between spectator and performer was extraordinary and we, the audience, were indeed part of The Floating World theatre and geisha district from which Butterfly had sought to escape.
It was a wonderful evening. Indeed, as we dropped Lisbeth off at Victoria Station to continue her journey homeward, one opera goer was heard to say this was the ‘best event of its kind the Club had ever organised’. Agreement in the round!
- A full report will appear in the Summer edition of the Farmers Club Journal in mid-May