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Subject: Butterfly and THAT Chord (Was Re: Booing at the Met)
From: "G. Paul Padillo" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:G. Paul Padillo
Date:Mon, 30 Oct 2017 12:14:49 -0400

text/plain (57 lines)

I remember a tremendous Butterfly (Faith Esham) where for the suicide, Cio Cio San went behind the shoji and we watched in silhouette, as she plunged the dagger into her throat.  She then pulled open the screen, crawling towards Pinkertonís voice, a beatific smile on her
face before slumping lifeless onto the top step of the house.  Kate and Sharpless looked on 
in horror as Pinkerton rushed to turn her body over, only to have her lifeless corpse slide 
further down the stairs, her long hair cascading around her face.  Then, just as that last 
chord was hit, Pinkerton was propelled, violently, backwards, away from her as though hit 
with actual physical force and the stage blacked out before we could see him hit the floor, 
leaving him suspended in the air above her.  On its own it was a chilling bit of business.  Set 
to THAT chord, it was absolutely devastating theatre.  


* * * * * 

On Sun, 29 Oct 2017 16:25:27 -0400, donald kane <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>You "think that final chord really should correspond to a final dramatic
>in the staging" of MADAMA BUTTERFLY!
>That is exactly the kind of thinking that can destroy a composer's perfectly
>placed musical inspiration.  What Puccini is saying in the most powerful
>and ironic way, is that there is nothing more to say.  Any action on stage
>while that excruciating chord is sounded would reduce it to a cheap shot out
>of a third class "film noir".
>On Sat, Oct 28, 2017 at 3:41 PM, Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> Butterfly famously ends on a "wrong" chord - it's really the only
>> classical tonal piece I can
>> think of that doesn't actually end on the tonic (though it's implied in
>> the bass, so we tend
>> to hear the resolution in our heads, I think). I think that last chord
>> really should
>> correspond to a final dramatic moment in the staging - perhaps Pinkerton
>> hugging his
>> son, or his discovery of the dead/dying Butterfly, or perhaps a brave
>> director would find a
>> way to delay her suicidal stab until that chord. I don't know. But it's
>> clear to me that
>> Puccini had something to say with that last chord.

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