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Subject: Re: Madama Butterfly
From: Genevieve Castle Room <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Genevieve Castle Room <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 11 Jun 2017 00:40:47 -0400
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Les,

>"Either I've missed something or I've taken leave of my senses.  Will one
kind poster please explain to me what the hell this is all
about????????????"

Really??  :-)

Ok, at the risk of stating the obvious I think Ms. Gulino is too wrapped up
in her own reaction to realize that other people in the audience are quite
capable of empathizing with what the opera relates on the deeper human
level that exists below the surface imagery. And I think she is insulting
the intelligence of the audience if they think they are applauding racism
and imperialism... That's a projection and an over-reaction.

I think the debate should be conducted more on the side of art than of life
(the perception of national identities)... though eventually the two have
to belong together.




-------------

On Sunday, June 11, 2017, Les Mitnick <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Either I've missed something or I've taken leave of my senses.  Will one
> kind poster please explain to me what the hell this is all about????????????
> > On June 10, 2017 at 10:11 PM Genevieve Castle Room <
> [log in to unmask] <javascript:;>> wrote:
> >
> >
> > 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%7C8370cf1416f34c16b83c72407165
> 4356%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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