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Subject: Re: Butterfly Broadcast from the Met on WQXR
From: "David M. Wagner" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:David M. Wagner
Date:Sat, 3 Mar 2018 21:01:29 -0500
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I’m in a very small minority on this. For me, this opera belongs to the tenor, as long as the performance is about 50 years old and the tenor is John Alexander.

When that’s that case, I wake up at “Dovunque al mondo,” listen carefully to the rest of Act I, wake up again for the Humming Chorus (all mortal flesh is to keep silence for the Humming Chorus), wake up again for “Addio fiorito asil,” and then turn it off bc I can’t handle the end. 

If John isn’t in it, it’s not a high priority to listen at all. I have however seen the Minghella production on tv, and found it works much better than I thought it would. Minghella faced and solved a problem: there are only so many ways to rearrange sliding paper doors and call it a “new production.”

-David Wagner


Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 3, 2018, at 7:15 PM, Sklenar, Robert John <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> As it happens, I caught Ms. Jaho's "un bel dì" on the car radio while running errands, and it was very fine indeed. I must take issue, however, with the opinion of some listers that the opera belongs "entirely" to the soprano singing the title role, the implication being that the quality of the male voices is irrelevant. If Pucccini had intended the male voices to be irrelevant to the overall effect of an opera, he would have written one without male voices; in fact, he did: "Suor Angelica." A successful performance of "Madama Butterfly" requires at least a minimally compentent tenor. This afternoon's performance was therefore a failure. Period full stop.
> 
> -Robert
> [log in to unmask]
> 
> ________________________________________
> From: Discussion of opera and related issues <[log in to unmask]> on behalf of Maria Wolansky <[log in to unmask]>
> Sent: Saturday, March 3, 2018 6:47:17 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Re: Butterfly Broadcast from the Met on WQXR
> 
> We were “in house” today for the Butterfly performance. The male singers were mediocre, however Ermonela Jaho was fabulous. It’s the soprano that makes this opera. Together with the stunning Minghella production, Jaho made this performance exhilarating.  Definitely the best Butterfly we ever saw.
> 
> All the best,
> 
> Maria and Leo
> 
> 
> Sent from my iPhone
> 
>> On Mar 3, 2018, at 6:04 PM, Myriam Hernandez <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> 
>> Thank you, Mr. Rideout. You're one of the few persons on this list who so
>> far has given credit to Ms. Jaho for her magnificent performance of
>> Butterfly today. From an opera that belongs entirely to the soprano, there
>> have only been comments posted referring to the male characters and their
>> horrible singing, which in fact, was an affront to the ear. As you say, Ms.
>> Jaho may not have the opulence of Tebaldi or Price, but she compensated in
>> spades with her lovely voice and emotional interpretation. By the way, I
>> found her voice sometimes very similar to that of the great Pilar Lorengar.
>> 
>> Myriam
>> 
>>> On Sat, Mar 3, 2018 at 4:33 PM, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>> 
>>> Leaving everything else aside, since I have nothing good
>>> to say about the rest, Ermonela Jaho was really very fine
>>> as Cio Cio San. She has a wonderful top register and the
>>> rest of the voice is much better than just ok.
>>> 
>>> No, she isn't Scotto, nor does she have the tonal opulence of
>>> Leontyne Price or Tebaldi, but she was well worh the time I
>>> spent listening to her. Madama Butterfly is one of the very few
>>> operas that can be rewarding with nothing more than a fine
>>> reading of the title role, and that is exactly what we got. She
>>> sang in tune, mostly, in time, mostly, and she understood the
>>> words and that dynamics are important.
>>> 
>>> I was rather impressed!
>>> 
>>> Bob
>>> 
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