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Subject: Re: Pinkerton
From: Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Kiwi <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 1 Feb 2017 10:54:00 -0500

text/plain (83 lines)

Just an opinion here but Puccini never cast his heroes in a truly negative 
light.  They each had flaws but redeemable--and often admirable--ones.  Even 
his bad-guy Dick Johnson was more victim of circumstances than outlaw and he 
struggled mightily against his own conscience to justify carrying on his 
father's business (he had to care for his family).  Even if you go back to 
the dreadful (IMHO) Edgar, the bad boy who seems justifiably bad, in the end 
he reveals his true nature.  Calaf, the hero some love to demean, is a 
faithful son. a brilliant tactician, and a kind soul.  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.

In contrast, it is his heroines who come across as slightly naïve or simple 
minded and discover too late how wrong they have been.  They are usually the 
ones who end up paying the ultimate price for simply loving unwisely and too 

I think Puccini was gaining insight in his last two operas, both of which 
have hero and heroines generally moving (through many tears and much 
travail) to a meeting of two equals.  The direction he was heading is was 
one of optimism and hope in the redeeming nature of love.  Too bad he was 
unable to live longer.

-----Original Message----- 
From: donald kane
Sent: Wednesday, February 01, 2017 10:14 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Pinkerton

The question is: who would want to write an opera in which one of
these characters stopped to think and then act upon the consequences
of their
psychological misconceptions, and, more to the point: who would want to
hear it?  The result would either be a very short one-acter, or a verismo
Ring cycle.


On Wed, Feb 1, 2017 at 1:08 AM, R PRADA <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Ok I had to think about this. Both CioCioSan and Pinkerton were operating 
> out of fantasy. His belief was that he could have an idyll with a geisha, 
> like playing house. It was a custom currently in vogue. He was young in 
> matters of the heart.
> Butterfly thought she could marry, and bond, accepting his religion and 
> culture. She expected to live in America and have the life of an American 
> wife, a much more liberated and respectable life than was available to her 
> in Japan. She thought the American way with marriage would give her a 
> happily ever after.
> They never talked to each other, so each projected on to each other.
> I have not read the original Belasco, but that is what I took out of the 
> score.
> In this story Suzuki and the Consul are the grownups.
> The Bonz and all the relatives are also bound by stereotypical responses. 
> But the Bonz is actually dealing with reality when he finds a prince
> for his niece.
> I see this is a huge and prevalent cultural misunderstanding. Pinkerton 
> gets to. E the ugly American, and he fell into this for lack of experience 
> and a sense of entitlement.
> RP

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