Great opera review. I had never thought of Lady of the Night as Cruella DeVille. Now I’ll never be able to think of her as other than Cruella.
I’m not sure I would make the comparison normally, but in this production it was hard not to. Take a look at the “Inside The Magic Flute” video at San Francisco Opera’s website and get a load of the costumes and sets! You can also get a taste of the Queen’s phenomenal pipes–Erika Miklósa was unbelievably good in the role. I can die now.
Re Butterfly, your version might make more sense but it would certainly detract from the tragic drama. I find it difficult to not break down in tears throughout the second and third acts because I know how it ends.
Knowing that the story ends in a slapstick brawl would ruin the effect, though springing an alternate ending as a surprise might certainly be a pleasant surprise–once.
Who said it would be slapstick? I think those women would be pretty serious in their passionate dispatch of the assholes who ruined their lives, don’t you? And would it be any less tragic with the right characters dying?