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Subject: Re: butterfly
From: donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:donald kane <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Sun, 4 Mar 2018 19:03:00 -0500
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It was totally ridiculous, had nothing to do with what inspired Puccini, and
not worth the time you have given it.  This stuff is for audiences composed
of people who don't give a damn about music, or have seen more performances
of this opera than they should.

dtmk

On Sun, Mar 4, 2018 at 5:46 PM, gordon young <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> In a continuing exploration of the various modes of translating operas in
> Europe, last night I decided to watch a production of Butterfly from
> Brussels. This production is influenced by the Japanese theater.
>
>
>
> To get started let me begin with probably the most significant directorial
> concept.  Some have objected to the Met’s puppet child … well this
> production goes that one better – Cio Cio San is a puppet, a very pretty
> puppet but one with no ability to express emotion. Thinking about the love
> duet made me a bit anxious, how would they represent the physical love
> between the puppet and a real person? When the child appears in act two one
> sees the disastrous result of the union of the two. Trouble looks like a
> combination of the Big Boy Burgers Guy and a Weeble – a look not even a
> mother could love.
>
>
>
> The singer of Butterfly is an older woman with long stringy gray hair
> dressed in the same costume as Cio Cio San. She is standing at the side of
> the stage. Sometimes her singing is ok but at other times like at the end
> of “Un bel di” her voice disappears. I wondered if this was a directorial
> idea or if she just ran out of steam. Who is the lady? Since I can create
> my idea of her, as the director doesn’t, I thought maybe she is a guilt
> ridden Kate who in her madness becomes Butterfly repeating the story over
> and over again.
>
> Sharpless is missing an arm. I don’t know if the singer is really missing
> the arm or it is just part of Sharpless’s character.
>
> Pinkerton is an interesting singer that, I think, I should dislike as he
> has a heavy shimmering vibrato but, for me, it is a pleasant sound (think
> of some of the Cetra tenors.) And he looks the part but because of the
> directorial concept he never is able to create a personality for Pinkerton,
> he just stands there and sings.
>
>
>
> The staging is quite simple as are most of these European productions and
> there are no props or few props. To begin the third act the crazy lady (the
> other Butterfly) does a pantomime violently cutting a white screen with a
> BIG knife. The knife has, however, disappeared before Butterfly’s suicide.
>
>
>
> In this production the small chorus attending the wedding are dressed in
> the most unusual costumes looking more like the costumes at a dada or
> surreal costume party in the early 20th century. I’m not sure what the
> designer was thinking this would add to the story or the telling of the
> story. They return in the last act … for some reason.
>
>
>
> I may question the directorial decisions in these regie productions but I
> find the results intriguing and frustrating. If we are to criticize this
> tendency we need to know it and there are many examples on Youtube.
>
> Gordon
>
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