Alan Burrett - Lighting Designer
Madama Butterfly
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Created 1997 Houston Grand Opera
Performed - San Diego Opera, Grand Opera of Geneva
Directed by Francesca Zambello
Sets by Michael Yeargan
Costumes by Anita Yavich
Photographs courtesy of Ken Howard
by Ken Howard

"At Cio-Cio-San's home, the set and Alan Burrett's lighting design manage to be both intellectually arresting and dramatically stunning. Her garden is suggested by a series of Asian-inspired scrims and gorgeous lighting that reveal a magnificent sunset as the scene progresses toward Cio-Cio-San's tragic suicide. While pink petals drift down from the sky, Cio-Cio-San, Suzuki and young Trouble scatter more of them across the ground, in eager anticipation of Pinkerton. This scene is so lovely that it looks almost ballet-like. The enormity of the practically empty stage strewn with thousands of fallen petals suggests just how lost Cio-Cio-San and her family have become as she has abandoned one culture only to be abandoned herself by another. And as the pink blossoms slowly turn blood red under the darkening light of evening, her end becomes more and more apparent."
Lee Williams - Houston Press

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Francesca Zambellos striking production, first seen at Houston Grand Opera in 1997, uses simple sets and drop-down rice paper panels to dramatic effects, thanks in large part to Alan Burretts lighting and rear projection. The orange crepuscular glow during the Humming Chorus, the desolate Martian-like landscape in the final scene, the dropping down of a red drape over Cio-Cio-Sans lifeless body are just some of the vivid, indelible stage pictures that will stay with you after you leave the theatre." Opera Review

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