LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 15.5

Help for OPERA-L Archives


OPERA-L Archives

OPERA-L Archives


View:

Next Message | Previous Message
Next in Topic | Previous in Topic
Next by Same Author | Previous by Same Author
Chronologically | Most Recent First
Proportional Font | Monospaced Font

Options:

Join or Leave OPERA-L
Reply | Post New Message
Search Archives


Subject: Re: Cultural controversy swirls around Seattle Opera’s ‘Madame Butter fly’
From: robert bragdon <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:robert bragdon <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 3 Aug 2017 11:14:08 -0400
Content-Type:text/plain
Parts/Attachments:
Parts/Attachments

text/plain (93 lines)


Well said Paul....

On Aug 3, 2017 11:08 AM, "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Fascinating article, Jason.  At the risk of sounding insensitive, I truly
> believe too many people, regardless of heritage or culture, can be a bit
> over sensitive and reactionary when their culture is portrayed in a light
> that
> they don’t appreciate.
>
> I was particularly flummoxed by Ms. Gainor’s final quote:
>
> “. . . Cio-Cio San is a sex-trafficked 15-year old Japanese teenager.  Why
> are we so comfortable with that, to the point of romanticizing it and
> telling
> the story over and over?”
>
> The answer is, I believe, less complex than some might want to believe:
> Cio
> Cio-Cio San's story is, despite its “Oriental trappings,” universal and,
> regardless of one's own culture, we develop an automatic and great,
> sympathy (even empathy) for this young woman who, though the cards of
> life are stacked against her from the beginning, refuses to play the
> victim.
>
> While some would vilify Puccini we must remember he didn’t write Butterfly
> to poke fun at a culture he knew little about, but rather because Cio-Cio
> San stole, then broke his heart.  She does for many of us.
>
> While in London supervising the English premiere of “Tosca”, Puccini
> attended Belasco’s play during its premiere run at the Duke of York
> Theatre.  According to Belasco, Puccini rushed backstage, threw his arms
> around the playwright and, still weeping from the performance, begged
> Belasco to allow him to set it to music.  Belasco offered Puccini the
> rights
> immediately because, “it was impossible to discuss arrangements with an
> impulsive Italian who has tears in his eyes and both of his arms around
> your neck.”  (More stereotypes!)
>
> Regardless of his ignorance of genuine Japanese culture, Puccini gives this
> seemingly naïve, fragile, and enormous strength and nobility.  While many
> Asians may not appreciate what he created, others have (and do) with
> productions designed and starring Asian artists, some of them playing in
> Seoul, (where during a recent run, the title role was split between two
> sopranos – an Armenian and an Italian), Tokyo, Beijing, Hong Kong, Saga
> (Japan), Singapore (this season they also staged Turandot) . . . and other
> Asian cities.
>
> A number of Asian artists have actually been influenced and inspired by
> Puccini’s opera, including composer Shigeaki Saegusa who, with a libretto
> by one of Japan’s most respected writers, Masahiko Shimada,
> created “Butterfly, Jr.”
>
> Renowned director Kuriyama Tamiya, whose credits include Broadway and
> London’s West End, recently directed an enormously successful production
> of Butterfly for the New National Theatre in (wait for it) . . . Tokyo.
>
> While I would never minimize either the offense or contempt felt by many
> for Puccini’s opera, I do feel it does not paint a complete picture, and
> Asians who are touched and inspired by it, also should not be ignored or
> minimized.
> minimized.
>
> Thanks again for sharing your article with us.
>
> p.
>
> **********************************************
> OPERA-L on Facebook:
> http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
> containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
> [log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
> --------------------------------------------------------------------------
>

**********************************************
OPERA-L on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/25703098721/
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To UNSUBSCRIBE, send a message to [log in to unmask]
containing only the words:  SIGNOFF OPERA-L
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
To stay subscribed but TURN OFF mail, send a message to
[log in to unmask] containing only the words:  SET OPERA-L NOMAIL
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
Modify your settings: http://listserv.bccls.org/archives/opera-l.html
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back to: Top of Message | Previous Page | Main OPERA-L Page

Permalink



LISTSERV.BCCLS.ORG

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager