a Butterfly there is no Madama Butterly. The latest IU
Opera Theater Incarnation had a Butterfly on opening night.
There is no question that musically and musicodramatically
Williams is Butterfly. She gave wing to Puccini's oft-soaring flights of melody. She gave us vocally and interpretively the girlish innocence and trust and hope that Puccini ascribed to the Japanese maiden. Her voice has beauty, body, and range.
Climaxes were thrilling to hear. But Williams excelled in coloristic touches that gave heightened meaning to smaller moments: a flash of anger, a sob, a mother's tenderness. Such subtleties completed the characterization of this opera's tragic heroine.
Wiliams combined the grand and the minature; she formed a
up. Her lovely, spun soprano was in
full focus and bloom from the start.
One hears poignancy in her voice. It is
capable of painting notes in aural
colors. Williams was at one with the
role. Tenderness or playfulness,
confusion or despair, each emotion
extended outward into the atmosphere and
certainly into the emotional heart of
the listener. The performance brought
forth my tears. Poor, dear Mimi."
one of those in which Mozart indelibly
paints tones of love and anguish and
fear all in one radiant melody. Yes,
paints tones. And soprano Maria
Williams became the canvas on which,
through which a listener could
experience what the composer must
have had in mind. Williams, with clear,
ranging voice to command, gave
heartfelt and beautious life to those
feelings and in doing so gave the
performance that necessary lift toward
excellence. Here in Maria Williams
one had the makings of a winner in the
profession. Williams conquered the
daunting tricks and fire of the role."
seasoned performer who was made to sing dramatic opera. Her tone was so expressive and rich that even her pianissimo high
notes still contained a forward momentum as they rang throughout the hall. This is a voice rich in rare beauty and brilliant technical skills. Voices of this beauty are a gift to the soul."~Elizabeth Russell