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Subject: Re: Butterfly from La Scala
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 14 Dec 2016 15:18:02 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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It wasn't "cut"; they even had Kate Pinkerton's duet with Butterfly!
But it was, as you have heard by now, the unimproved original version.

You're right about the costumes - much too voluminous and drab.,
and the staging - overloaded with irrelevant imagery just to fill up those
vast spaces surrounding an intimate love-nest which is all the story needs.
It's spectacular, but the opera doesn't call for spectacle.  Like most
new productions I think it was designed for the camera, and one
must be grateful for the result: it means we get a better look at the
action than much of the Scala live audiences do.  That action, IMO,
as well as the singing and conducting, was exceptional.

There is one aspect of a two act BUTTERFLY which I like: it preserves
Puccini's intention of reproducing the impact that Belasco's famous NY
production had on him when he saw it.  Audiences sat spellbound as the
fifteen minutes of Cio cio san's silent, motionless vigil passed, with
nothing to see except the depiction of darkness changing to dawn.  The
"humming" chorus and the orchestral prelude to the final scene, when
uninterrupted, do exactly the same thing in almost exactly the same number
of minutes. If the standard version is revived, they can still use this
staging even if they have to restore a second intermission.

This, coming so soon after hearing the MANON LESCAUT broadcast, had me
wondering -: what if Butterfly and Manon could have somehow changed places:
wouldn't the love-sick geisha, having no use for an affluent suitor, been
happier
with an ever-loving Des Grieux?  And wouldn't her frivolous French cousin
have
been thrilled to settle down in the luxurious lap of Yamadori?  Happy
endings
and shorter operas for all!

dtmk



On Wed, Dec 14, 2016 at 12:57 PM, Clarissa Cheer <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

> You mean "Butterfly" was "cut" at La Scala!!! Shame. I found the costumes
> were not correct and I disliked the staging.
>
> Clarissa Lablache
>
>
> > From: Idia Legray <[log in to unmask]>
> > Reply-To: Idia Legray <[log in to unmask]>
> > Date: Wed, 14 Dec 2016 07:40:29 -0500
> > To: <[log in to unmask]>
> > Subject: Re: Butterfly from La Scala
> >
> > Despite the fact that I was watching Puccini's first version, I found it
> >  thoroughly enjoyable and quite interesting to see how much improved his
> >  final decisions bring even more drama and pathos than this original one.
> >
> >  Because I am so familiar with the score I was sometimes taken aback and
> >  felt "robbed" of certain musical sounds that were not there.
> Particularly in
> >  the love scene.  Also the lack of Pinkerton's aria"Addio fiorito asil"
> was
> >  sadly missed.
> >
> >  But in all, I found this Butterfly a sincere and tragic performance
> > beautifully
> >  done by Maria Jose Siri whose facial expressions alone touched one's
> heart.
> >  Kudos to Annelise Stroppa who was a fine Suzuki and to Bryan Hymel who
> >  was an almost likable reprobate of a Pinkerton.  Special acknowledgement
> >  must go to a performance of Sharpless that is hard to beat.  Carlos
> Alvarez
> >  found the key to a sympathetic rendering like I have never seen before.
> >  The beauty of the staging and costumes was well conceived.
> >  And of course Puccini's magnificent music well delivered by Chailly was
> the
> >  icing on the cake.
> >
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