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Madama Butterfly   
SHOWS
           

LE ROSSIGNOL
THE PUPPET MONOLOGUES
THE MAGIC FLUTE
THE HEADS
THE TABLE
PAPER STORY
BE SAFE - NIGEL MOUND
OLYMPICS
MASTER & MARGARITA
KOMMILITONEN!
EL GATO CON BOTAS
A DOG'S HEART
THE OTHER SEDER
CALL OF THE WILD
TESTING PANACEA
1984
ORIGINS
ARHAT TAMING THE DRAGON
HIS DARK MATERIALS
SHUNKIN
ON EMOTION
FAERIES
MADAM BUTTERFLY
LOW LIFE
CHEREVICHKI
A PUPPET IN THE WORKS
MARTIN'S WEDDING
PIRATE PUPPETRY
THE SPACEMAN
TRAMPING THE BOARDS
MR CHINA'S SON

 

Puppets:
SORROW
MADAM BUTTERFLY
BIRDS
SERVANTS

PICTURES
podcast

 


3 - 7 March
Perth International Festival, Australia

Tickets on Sale Now
Book Here



BLIND SUMMIT MADE "TROUBLE"
IN ANTHONY MINGHELLA'S OLIVIER AWARD WINNING MADAM BUTTERFLY

We created the puppets and helped make the puppetry happen.

"The production really felt like a pivotal moment for UK Puppetry"
D. Max Pryor, British Council On Tour Magazine

Love him or hate him, this little guy certainly caused a fuss:

“In the aisles and lobbies during the second intermission of the Metropolitan Opera’s new production of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly,” which opened the season on Monday night before a star-studded audience, patrons could be overheard heatedly debating the puppet used to portray Butterfly’s little boy.

This nonspeaking minor character is typically played by a cute child in a sailor suit. In this production the director Anthony Minghella has introduced a small puppet boy manipulated by three puppeteers cloaked in black who stand behind him. The child moves with eerily human gestures, and his baldish head has a wizened, hopeful yet anxious look.

Some people thought it was “more real than any real child they could have had,” as one patron put it. Others thought it was intriguing but very strange. Somewhere in the house, Peter Gelb, the new general manager of the Met, must have been beaming.
New York Times, 29.9.06

 

We were swept up in a tsunami of reviews and commentsthat surrounds Anthony Minghella's work. A strange new breakthrough experience for us:


"Mr Minghella’s finest touch is to turn the child of Butterfly and Pinkerton into a Bunraku puppet, operated - as is traditional – by three visible, but totally self effacing puppeteers (the superb Blind Summit company), and far more expressive than any child actor.”

Paul Levy, The Wall Street Journal (Europe) 11 Nov 05

"Like a maple syrup enema"
Jonathan Miller in New York Times

“The pathos of the blindfolded puppet-boy prior to his mother’s suicide, taking faltering steps, is overwhelming.”
Barry Millington, Evening Standard, 7 Nov 05

“The physical detail, the restless, excitable, mother-clinging actions and reactions are such that a child actor could never give us and after a while you stop noticing the puppeteers and, like Butterfly, you see only genuine emotion and need in the impassive doll-face. This is extraordinary.”
Edward Seckerson, The Independent, 7 Nov 05

"The puppeteers looked rather pleased with themselves" Adam Mars Jones

“the stroke of genius in using a puppet for Butterfly's child (expertly and vividly worked by a team of no fewer than three puppeteers), add and add again to the sheer brilliance of the conception.”
A C Grayling, Time Literary Supplement

“I ended up thinking let’s close all the stage schools and let all children under 12 be played by puppets…”
Adam Mars Jones, Front Row R4, 7 Nov 05

“the 3 year old child… played by a puppet, is so beautifully done and is so moving and works exquisitely…”
Peggy Reynolds, Night Waves, 7 Nov 05

“The animation is so well achieved by veiled but perfectly visible puppeteers that the puppets are easily the most authentic characters on stage.”
Financial Times, 7 Nov 05, Andrew Clarke

“When, during the "dream ballet" interpolated into the opening of Act 3, the puppet representing Butterfly clutches with desperation at the departing Pinkerton, we heard an audible gasp go up around us.”
The Londonist 8 Nov 05

“this production will be remembered for its puppets.”
Tom Service, The Guardian, 7 Nov 05

"The most extraordinary part of Minghella's daring concept is to use Bunraku-style puppet as Butterfly's lovechild, Sorrow... As wooden performances go, this one is masterly"
The Daily Mail, 2 Dec 05

“The puppet is cute as a button, and it’s ingeniously manipulated by three onstage hooded figures”
New York Classical and Dance

“Three black-hooded men operated the life-size puppet and infused it with so much realism I forgot at times it wasn't alive.”
Seen and Heard International Opera Review – Harry Steiman

"The puppetry was on a level of genius"
The Nation, Thailand

"This is the moment that British puppetry has been waiting for,"
Animations Online ed. 15

 

PUPPETS

SORROW
MADAM BUTTERFLY
BIRDS
SERVANTS

Director - Anthony Minghella, Choreography - Carolyn Choa, Conductor - David Parry
Design - Michael Levine, Costume - Han Feng, Lighting - Peter Mumford, Puppetry - Blind Summit Theatre, Mark Down and Nick Barnes

 

Sorrow History of Puppeteers

2005, 2006 - London (Original Cast)
Mark Down, Finn Caldwell, Nick Barnes, Giulia Innocenti

2006 Lithuania National Opera
Mark Down, Tomas Dapsuskis, Nick Barnes

2006 - New York Metropolitan Opera
Mark Down, Finn Caldwell, Nick Barnes

2007 - Lithuania National Opera
Eugenius Serjegevias, Tomas Dapsauskis, Vaiva Uzaite

2007 - New York Metropolitan Opera
Mark Down, Tom Lee, Kevin Augustine

2008 - London 
Curtis Jordan, Tom Espiner, Ben Thompson

2008, 2009 - New York Metropolitan Opera
Marc Petrosino, Tom Lee, Kevin Augustine

2009 - London 
Eugenius Serjegevias, Martin Barron, Stuart Angell

2011 - - New York Metropolitan Opera
Marc Petrosino, Frankie Cordero, Kevin Augustine

2012 - London 
Tom Espiner, Julia Innocenti, Laura Caldow, Ben Thompson

2013 - London 
Julia Innocenti, Tom Espiner, Laura Caldow, Matthew Johnson

 

 

   
Blind Summit Theatre
Unit 10, Grenville Workshops, 2a Grenville Road, London, N19 4EH
020 7272 9020 - info@blindsummit.com