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Subject: Re: Madama Butterfly
From: RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:RAYMOND GOUIN <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 11 Jun 2017 08:54:01 -0400
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When I first took my wife (who is of Italian/Sicilian descent) to see Fanciulla, she started laughing when, in the first act, the miners sing of their longing for home.  "Their not miners" she said, "The Italian boys crying for their mother".


BTW, I am of French descent.  So  Marie likes to say that her favorite opera is I Vespri Siciliani.  :)


Best from Boston.

Ray Gouin


***

> 
>     On June 11, 2017 at 6:40 AM Ximena Sepulveda <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>     It seems to me that Butterfly, although set in Japan with a Japanese theme,
>     is actually an Italian opera composed by Puccini. Opera plots, in general,
>     are silly and don't have anything to do with reality. Composers don't do
>     research in order to be accurate, they simply think of the music first and
>     I guess, they accommodate the words to the music. We cannot be offended
>     with the lack of knowledge regarding national customs or inaccuracy of
>     situations.
> 
>     On Sat, Jun 10, 2017 at 11:11 PM, Genevieve Castle Room <
>     [log in to unmask]> 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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