BNet: Journal for Tuesday September 26th, 2006 27-09-2006, 10:25:01 ZitatMADAMA BUTTERFLY AT THE METWhat a tour de force! It was a beautiful, stylish, image dripping performance if ever there was one. Upon a stark minimalist set, this, by turns rather silly, sexist and colonialist, opera played out in rhythms of sensational colour arrangements and almost static tableau. Director Anthony Minghella kept the action playing out on mirror-shined black steps, traditional sliding rice paper walls and stunning red/green blue/yellow white/lilac light pairings all reflected in a huge overhead mirror that captured the action from an intensely vertiginous angle. Lush. Nice.Instead of the usual cute little boy that is a leading prop in the traditional productions, Minghella opted for a Japanese style puppet. Much debate about this one I bet.This new Met philosophy of 'outreach' (terrible ticket sales over the last few years, and the average age of the audience now 60. No problem for me then. Ouch) also took to the streets with vast screens showing the performance in both Times Square and Lincoln Center Plaza. Hundreds of seats filled the square with cheering jeans and t-shirted folk while we penguins (and semi-penguins) sat in comfort to watch an almost cinematic interpretation of this old warhorse, the most popular opera in the western world. Cor. Right.Dinner after was all lovely people like Susan Sarandon and hubby Tim Robbins, Salman Rushdie and wife Padma Lakshmi, Naomi Watts and Liev Schreiber and that Jimmy Fallon bloke from SNL who was hilarious and did a bit on the puppet holding its own after-show party upstairs. Lots of woody jokes. Fun.Iman wore Angel Sanchez. I wore Hedi Slimane. Cool.