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Subject: Re: Pinkerton
From: kurt youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:kurt youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 2 Feb 2017 14:45:27 -0600

text/plain (29 lines)

In the version of the opera we see today, Pinkerton may not be a “complete cad.” Originally, however, until in the final (Paris) version, he was a pretty rotten guy. He was a drunk, a misogynist and a racist. Each successive version of the opera saw him less unlikeable.

Several years ago the Met staged the standard version (the one with the least unlikeable Pinkerton) but depicted him as the original nasty guy. I understand that it didn’t work very well and that Licia Albanese, who was in the audience, got up and booed!

I know the genesis of Butterfly quite well, having given lectures about it some years ago. The talk, “Will the real Madama Butterfly please stand up,” traced the story from Long through Belasco through Puccini/Illica/Giacosa. Unfortunately, at the time, the complete recording of all versions hadn’t been released and I had only some examples to play that came from originals with poor sound. Once that CD set became available I had all the music, albeit not particularly well sung, and Michael Kaye’s masterful program notes to work with.

Kurt Youngmann

> On Feb 1, 2017, at 9:54 AM, Kiwi <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> In his entire completed works, there is not a single opera in which his hero is a complete cad.  We may assume Pinkerton is unworthy because we see him through passage of time and increased awareness.

How come we choose from just two people to run for president and over fifty for Miss America?  - Anonymous

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