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Subject: re Madame Butterfly and revised (original) score
From: E J Michel <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:E J Michel <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 15 Dec 2016 17:01:52 -0500

text/plain (54 lines)
Tales from the Stave

When Madame Butterfly opened at La Scala, Milan on February 14th 1904 it
lasted one night. The audience reaction forced Puccini and his publisher
Ricordi to pull the Opera and set about a series of rewrites. But in
Milan's Archivio Storico Ricordi is the manuscript of that first
performance with all the later markings, crossings out and additions which
were to see the work become hugely popular over the years that followed. Un
Bel Di and the Humming chorus are now familiar to audiences all over the
world and the sweep and passion of Puccini's music ensure it's enduring

However, La Scala have decided to go back to the composer's earliest
version, bringing the autographed manuscript with all its hidden material,
to life.
Thanks to the generosity of the Archivio Storico Ricordi Frances Fyfield
has been allowed to examine the score along with the conductor Julian
Smith, the scholar Nigel Simeone and the star of La Scala's revival Maria
José Siri. What they discover is a markedly different shape to the Opera
which tells the story of the young Japanese girl's sham wedding to the
American naval lieutenant Pinkerton and her subsequent refusal to give up
on him.
Maria José gets the chance to see the material she's been rehearsing in the
composer's own hand and Julian Smith explains why Puccini made the changes
he made, raising many of the dilemmas that come from looking to original
source material for the final word on what the composer wanted, or thought
he wanted.

What's for sure is that the feverish and sometimes frantic hand are a vivid
testament to a composer at the height of his powers and with an astonishing
attention to minute musical detail.

Producer: Tom Alban.

Best regards,

E J Michel
[log in to unmask]

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