'Perfectionist' director carries forward Anthony Minghella's flame
MADAM BUTTERFLY opens tomorrow night at the English National Opera, London Coliseum and the production's director-choreographer Carolyn Choa admits she is "scared".
"I find it incredibly nerve-racking," Choa told The Times ahead of the revival of her late husband Anthony Minghella's version of one of the world's and Puccini's best loved operas.
"I will watch on the first night but I will be scared. I hope it will be OK."
When Minghella's Madam Butterfly hit the boards four years ago, it was received to great acclaim and much of that was handed to the work Choa herself put in on the production, particularly the Japanese-influenced choreography.
"It was lovely working with Anthony on Butterfly because we really got to spend long periods of creative time together," said Choa.
"We both loved it. It was wonderful."
Minghella, the director of films such as The English Patient as well as opera, died suddenly last year and Choa is happy to see the latest incarnation as a tribute to her husband.
"I want to honour what has gone before," she says, but she is also keen to put some more of her own stamp on the story of a doomed love-affair between an American GI and a Japanese geisha.
"I’ve discovered that directing is kind of moreish," Choa says. "It suits a control freak. I am a bit like Anthony. I'm a perfectionist.”