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Subject: Re: Pinkerton
From: Kurt Youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Kurt Youngmann <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 1 Feb 2017 07:40:53 -0600

text/plain (27 lines)

For anyone interested in the genesis / background of the opera I recommend starting with Long's story before reading Belasco's play. It really is a fascinating progression.

It's been quite some time since I've read either so I can't say whether a scene conceived by Puccini and/or the librettists appeared in either Long or Belasco that was to have taken
 place at the American consulate was original or not. In the scene, Butterfly visits Sharpless to inquire after Pinkerton and his hoped-for return. Some time before the premiere Puccini decided that the scene added nothing to the plot and, indeed, slowed things down. Not unusually for the Puccini/ Giacosa/Illica team the librettists objected strenuously. But the composer had excellent dramatic instincts.

Another example of his keen sense of drama, IMO, was his idea of presenting acts 2 & 3 without intermission. There were objections that it would be too long without a break so an early revision split the scene in two. In recent years we've realized that Puccini's original instinct was correct. Most productions in recent years have reverted to the original. In fact one of the things that attracted him to the story was Butterfly's long, uninterrupted vigil.

Kurt Youngmann

Sent from my iPad

> On Feb 1, 2017, at 12:08 AM, R PRADA <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I have not read the original Belasco, but that is what I took out of the score.

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