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Madame Butterfly

Rachel Rawlins. Photography Jeff Busby


“Welch’s exquisite treat”

“This ballet, restored to its rightful place in the repertoire through this opulent production, is never less than enchanting and, indeed, gripping.”
“The brilliant pas de deux which brings to a climax, quite literally, Act One it is breathtaking.”
“Rachel Rawlins was an exquisite and ethereal Butterfly - her stunning technique matched by her ability to capture the range of moods, from elated to devastated, required.”
“As Pinkerton, Robert Curran danced flawlessly”
“Scenes were stolen by Tzu-Chao Chou, who danced the role of Goro the marriage broker amusingly in a manner suggestive of G&S lampooning.”
“The orchestra seems to adore the often witty score. Which meant that Puccini's music, even without the benefit of soaring voices and humming choruses, was as spellbinding as ever.”
Herald Sun, 28 February 2011


“Combining dramatic drops, rapid sweeps and muscular lifts, this athletic grand pas de deux is breathtakingly intimate and buoyant: fluidly expressed sensuality, exuberance and tenderness. In the romantic roles, opening night leads Robert Curran and Rachel Rawlins were stunningly good, demonstrating sensitive character work, exquisite timing and graceful delivery.”
“The supporting ensemble was uniformly excellent in both technique and expression.”
“The overall effect created by dance, visuals and score is engrossing.”
“John Lanchbery's score provides ingenious support for Welch's compressed and simplified narrative, reorganising and revoicing Puccini's material with considerable sophistication.”
The Australian, 28 February 2011

“Pinkerton's [Robert Curran] lust for Butterfly [Rachel Rawlins] is shown through his masterful manipulation of her body: he catches her as though snatching silk from the air.”
The Age , 28 February 2011

“The Australian Ballet's production of Puccini's Madame Butterfly is well considered a contemporary classic, and now, 16 years after its premiere, a newness and brash energy runs down
its spine.”
“To many, ballet is an island where others live a place just seen in glimpses. In a reasonable universe, this production would be one to destroy that idea.”
InPress, 2 March 2011

“Stanton Welch's production of this Puccini favourite is an AB [Australian Ballet] staple for good reason: it's thoroughly modern, physically demanding and full of memorable detail.”
The Sunday Age, 6 March 2011

“Their [Robert Curran and Rachel Rawlins] pas de deux at the end of Act One may well be the most exquisite dancing you will ever see.”
“[Stanton] Welch was at the height of his creative powers when he found new ways to make Butterfly [Rachel Rawlins] fly and soar into the secure arms of Robert Curran, who is the most astonishingly sensitive partner.”
“This role may have been created on Vicki Attard, who was every inch the butterfly, but she would graciously acknowledge that Rachel Rawlins brings her own artistry to the role. It is, without a doubt, the finest performance of her career. Her delicacy is divine, her abandon is breathtaking and her artistry will show you what ballet can achieve when it is this special.”
“This is a must-see production.”
Sunday Herald Sun, 6 March 2011

“The company was in the finest form”
“The geisha ensemble is simply brilliant, with impeccable pointe work fitting perfectly with their characteristic small steps.”
“Rachel Rawlins and Robert Curran give stunning performances, both individually and as a pair. The house gasped at the lifts, dozens of them, in a rare duet where both dancers star.”
“The second act is not dissimilar, with the marriage broker (a scene-stealing role for Tzu-Chao Chou) continuing to peddle his desperate wares until, when Pinkerton returns, [Rachel] Rawlins and [Robert] Curran again scale dizzy heights of beauty.”
Adelaide Advertiser, 21 March 2011

“This is a touching and delicate production of Puccini’s timeless musical tale.”
“Rachel Rawlins dances exquisitely as the lovelorn Japanese geisha Butterfly.”
Sunday Mail, 27 March 2011

“A fine cast made a beautifully sustained dramatic experience of Stanton Welch's Madame Butterfly on the opening night of The Australian Ballet's 2011 season. Dancing, acting, music and design combined at the highest levels to work their theatrical magic.”
“Tzu -Chao Chou is the obnoxious marriage broker, Goro, with the virtuosity of his whirling tirades deepening his characterisation. Adam Bull gives the concernedAmerican consul enormous empathy in gesture and thought. Leanne Stojmenov's servant, Suzuki, is a strongly etched portrait of devotion marked by powerful differences of opinion.”
“Rachel Rawlins and Robert Curran are engrossing in their portrayals of Butterfly and Lieutenant Pinkerton. Their wedding night duet, linchpin of the ballet and high point of Welch's choreography, is a persuasive celebration of fluent movement, trusted partnering and expressive phrasing.”
“This production of Madame Butterfly is elegantly old-style, with its themes memorably projected by Peter Farmer's beautiful costumes, and handsome sets that move smoothly to advance the story.”
Sydney Morning Herald, 9 April 2011

“Rachel Rawlins and Robert Curran thrilled Thursday's audience with the spine-tingling beauty of their dancing”
Sunday Telegraph, 10 April 2011

“Opening night belonged to Rachel Rawlins, her Butterfly a mesmerising mix of fragility and Eastern grace. But this is also the story of Pinkerton and Suzuki and in these roles Robert Curran and Leanne Stojmenov were also commanding, Stojmenov a particular joy to behold as her character evolved from maid to the only real friend Butterfly has left.”
“Playful, sexy and stunningly challenging”
The Daily Telegraph, 11 April 2011

“From the very first moment, you know it’s going to be a resplendent production. Peter Farmer’s costume and set design immediately set the aesthetic bar high and Stanton Welch’s choreography follows suit, as Butterfly veritably soars, in the introductory vignette.”
“One won’t find so much as a little pinky out of place and although one can’t fail to be impressed by Daniel Gaudiello, as the embodied conscience, Sharpless, and Reiko Hombo, as Cio-Cio-San’s ever-faithful servant, Suzuki, it’s the leads of Kevin Jackson, as Pinkerton, and Madeleine Eastoe, as Butterfly, that win the most attention and adulation.”
“Narratively, East meets West, meets disaster. Artistically, subtlety meets high drama meets the aesthetically sublime.”
Crikey Curtain Call, 12 April 2011

“Rachel Rawlins, as Butterfly, captures the youthful innocence of a teenager in love, swept up in grand romance, oblivious to her fate. The wedding night pas de deux with Pinkerton (Robert Curran) is outstanding and they make the many lifts, throws and leaps look both effortless and intimate.”
“It's Leanne Stojmenov, as Butterfly's servant Suzuki, who conveys the most convincing sense of confusion and betrayal.”
Sun-Herald, 17 April 2011






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