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Subject: Re: Madama Butterfly
From: Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 11 Jun 2017 19:01:11 -0700
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Madama Butterfly is a turn of the century opera by an Italian based upon a
play by an American.  While maybe not politically correct by todays
standards, I think the Japanese come off a lot better than the Americans
and Butterfly herself has a real pair of balls.  If you don't like it,
don't listen to it, don't go to a performance.  The music is magnificent
and for me, that's all that matters.

Donald

On Sat, Jun 10, 2017 at 8:11 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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