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Subject: Re: Pinkerton
From: Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jon Goldberg <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 4 Mar 2018 13:14:25 -0500
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I think what is undeniably true is that we see the story of the opera through Butterfly. 
That doesn't mean the other characters - any of them - are less important - but just that 
it's her journey that we follow. 

Had Puccini wanted us to see this more through Pinkerton's eyes, we might have had the 
wedding scene between him and Kate, for instance, or the scene where Sharpless tells 
him about the child and convinces him to come back to Japan. But what we have instead 
is a much stronger drama where the effect of Pinkerton's absence in Act II is palpable. 

It's also interesting to note that the Belasco play starts with Act II of the opera plot - 
Pinkerton's entire role is reduced to a very short appearance at the end. Puccini and his 
librettists went back to the original John Luther Long short story for what became Act I. 


On Sun, 4 Mar 2018 15:42:21 +0000, Bob Rideout <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>David and Les
>
>I think you are both correct. Great singers make any role
>important, and let's be clear, Pinkerton is certainly not
>a comprimario assignment. But, like Salome and Elektra,
>(not Norma in my opinion) Butterfly can and sometimes
>does transcend the mediocrity with which she may be
>surrounded.
>
>David -
>
>My favorite pairing live was Renata Scotto and Gianni Raimondi.
>It was 1965-6, Met debut season for both, she as Cio Cio San, he
>as Rodolfo earlier with Freni.
>
>Raimondi is rarely discussed, and largely overlooked in the tenor
>sweepstakes games we play, but he was a superb singer with a
>wonderful stage presence. He should be much better known!
>
>Bob
>
>On Sun, Mar 4, 2018 at 09:42 David Shengold <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> Les--
>>
>>
>> All of what you write is true, yet sometimes houses *do* cast major tenors
>> as Pinkerton, and it *does* make a difference.
>>
>> Among my very best BUTTERFLY performances:
>>
>> Diana Soviero with Giacomo Aragall, San Francisco 1989
>>
>> Patricia Racette with Roberto Alagna, Met 2007
>>
>>
>> Ana Maria Martinez with Joseph Calleja,  Houston 2010
>>
>>
>>
>> The Met Archives yield, among other worthy names like Burrows, Shirley and
>> Tokatyan maybe best in other roles:
>>
>>
>> 10 Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Alagna, Roberto]
>>
>> 29 Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Alexander, John]
>>
>> 4 Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Aragall, Giacomo]
>>
>> 16 Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Bergonzi, Carlo]
>>
>> 16     Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Caruso, Enrico]
>>
>> 1     Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Del Monaco, Mario]
>>
>> 3     Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Di Stefano, Giuseppe]
>>
>> 5     Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Galouzine, Vladimir]
>>
>> 3     Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Gedda, Nicolai]
>>
>> 13     Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Gigli, Beniamino]
>>
>> 5     Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Hackett, Charles]
>>
>> 6     Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Jadlowker, Hermann]
>>
>> 36     Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Kónya, Sándor]
>>
>> 2     Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Lauri-Volpi, Giacomo]
>>
>> 7     Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Lazaro, Hipolito]
>>
>> 34     Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Leech, Richard]
>>
>> 34     Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Martinelli, Giovanni]
>>
>> 2     Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [McCormack, John]
>>
>> 1     Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Merli, Francesco]
>>
>> 2     Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Peerce, Jan]
>> 3 Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Raimondi, Gianni]
>> 3 Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Tagliavini, Ferruccio]
>> 5 Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Tucker, Richard]
>> 1 Madama Butterfly: Pinkerton [Zenatello, Giovanni]
>>
>> Konya sang it 36x at the Met; he sang his signature role Lohengrin 31x.
>>
>> Zenatello originated the role in both Milan and Brescia versions!
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> Wiener Staatsoper:
>> Giacomo Aragall
>> 18 Vorstellungen | 28.11.1966–18.11.1985
>>
>> Wladimir Atlantow
>>
>> 1 Vorstellung | 19.02.1973
>>
>>
>> Carlo Bergonzi
>> 1 Vorstellung | 09.09.1961
>>
>> Franco Bonisolli
>> 4 Vorstellungen | 30.05.1975–03.10.1977
>>
>> Joseph Calleja
>> 2 Vorstellungen | 29.09.2012–02.10.2012
>>
>> Carlo Cossutta
>> 10 Vorstellungen | 30.10.1966–22.03.1972
>>
>> Giuseppe di Stefano
>> 8 Vorstellungen | 25.09.1960–27.11.1965
>>
>> Vladimir Galouzine
>> 3 Vorstellungen | 21.10.1996–05.02.1999
>>
>>
>> Giuseppe Giacomini
>> 1 Vorstellung | 08.01.1978
>>
>> René Kollo
>> 1 Vorstellung | 19.02.1971
>>
>>
>> Sándor Konya
>> 2 Vorstellungen | 15.12.1964–29.12.1964
>>
>>
>> Veriano Luchetti
>> 2 Vorstellungen | 14.04.1973–26.09.1974
>>
>> Gianni Raimondi
>> 10 Vorstellungen | 10.10.1961–15.09.1975
>>
>> Helge Roswaenge
>> 18 Vorstellungen | 24.11.1948–03.09.1955
>>
>> Rudolf Schock
>> 1 Vorstellung | 04.03.1951
>>
>> Neil Shicoff
>> 11 Vorstellungen | 02.03.1993–19.11.2013
>>
>>
>> Wolfgang Windgassen
>> 1 Vorstellung | 06.04.1954
>>
>>
>>
>> Cheers - David
>>
>>
>>
>> Les Mitnick wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>> I emphatically agree.  Superstar tenors(Caruso, Gigli, Tucker,di Stefano,
>> P=
>>
>>
>> eerce,Bergonzi, Gedda, Pavarotti, Domingo, Kaufmann, et al.) have recorded
>> =
>>
>>
>> the role of Pinkerton but very few of them have performed the role onstage
>> =
>>
>>
>> (and if they did, it was very infrequently) for obvious reasons: a. to
>> enga=
>>
>>
>> ge an expensive star tenor for such a relatively short role is a luxury
>> few=
>>
>>
>> opera companies could afford; b. it's a good role for a new and beginning =
>>
>>
>> tenor and it has  some beautiful music to provide a young tenor with an
>> aus=
>>
>>
>> picious debut; c. the opera is dominated and carried by the soprano who
>> und=
>>
>>
>> ertakes the title role anyway.  If I hear about a Butterfly, I certainly
>> do=
>>
>> n't ask who's singing Pinkerton or Sharpless
>>
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>
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