Giacomo Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” is fraught with heartache and tragedy, but the most poignant moment of the Lyric Opera’s opening-night performance came not during the opera itself, but at the curtain call. Soprano Elizabeth Caballero, who had just delivered a stunning performance in the title role, sank to her knees in tears as the audience at the Kauffman Theatre rose to its feet. She had never performed the demanding role before and had been nervous about taking it on. But after her inspiring debut as the tragic heroine she may have felt like an enormous weight had been lifted.
Anyway you cut it, this was a personal triumph for Caballero, because after the final curtain her crystalline voice — delicate yet powerful, passionate yet controlled — is what lingers most vividly in the one’s memory.
Robert Trussell, Kansas City Star, 9/16/12