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Subject: Madama Butterfly
From: Genevieve Castle Room <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Genevieve Castle Room <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sat, 10 Jun 2017 23:11:54 -0400
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Malina Gulino wrote:

>"The moment I spotted a white woman with chopsticks in her blonde hair
climbing up the steps of the opera house last Wednesday, I should have
turned around and gone home. Instead, I figured that, as offensive as
Madama Butterfly is to me as a Japanese woman, the experience could be a
valuable exercise in critiquing art I don’t like. There is also the not
insignificant fact that, as part of the Music Humanities curriculum,
watching this opera is a graduation requirement, theoretically speaking
[....] In the only acceptable production of Madama Butterfly, Pinkerton
would be a Japanese woman, and Butterfly would be a white American man. And
he wouldn’t be just any white American man: Butterfly would be the most
pitiful, embarrassing caricature of a white American man possible,
portrayed by a Japanese singer in whiteface. Dolore would be an actual
human child. I want the white woman in the lobby with chopsticks in her
hair to feel uncomfortable. I want the audience that applauded and cheered
the Metropolitan Opera as it perpetuated disgusting, patronizing, racist
ideas about my people to know how Madama Butterfly makes me feel. I want
them to understand my pain. That, for me, would be a tolerable rendition of
Madama Butterfly. Then, I think, we could begin to heal. This season’s run
of Madama Butterfly ended yesterday night.... DO NOT see the next one"

RTWT here:

http://spc.columbiaspectator.com/opinion/2016/04/13/music-
humanities-disoriented
<https://emea01.safelinks.protection.outlook.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fspc.columbiaspectator.com%2Fopinion%2F2016%2F04%2F13%2Fmusic-humanities-disoriented&data=01%7C01%7Cchristopher.wintle%40kcl.ac.uk%7Ca82bc9dbcbcb470f552308d4a67534c1%7C8370cf1416f34c16b83c724071654356%7C0&sdata=2MXoBMlhDSYe18k3zihTDItNIP8PO1AiPvpVNd5oux8%3D&reserved=0>


***************


I don't think I've ever seen such an extreme reaction to Madama Butterfly.

Is anyone here on the side of this obviously, and self-consciously,
over-the-top commentator in thinking of Butterfly as a Western man?

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