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Subject: Re: Butterfly Broadcast from the Met on WQXR
From: Paul Ricchi <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Paul Ricchi <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Thu, 8 Mar 2018 11:21:38 -0500
Content-Type:text/plain
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I understand the Bunraku approach, but to me it seemed simply patched on to the opera.

I allow that if I had seen it a few more times my opinion may have changed,  but the possibility was too slim to have put it on the upper part of my priority list.

I felt the same way about the humongous Zeffirelli Boheme, visually and technically impressive, but even from row seven center, the intimacy was destroyed, it ultimately left me cold. Just because it was possible does not mean it is advisable - I thinks it serves an important u$e as a tourist attraction.

Sent from my iPhone

> On Mar 8, 2018, at 10:38 AM, Donald Levine <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> I'm with Bob on this one.  The first couple of times I saw the Minghella
> production, the puppets annoyed me no end.  The puppet was creepy and
> reminded me of a Chucky doll and the puppeteers of the grim reaper.  About
> the third or fourth time I saw this production I began to see it in a
> different light, the pantomime and movements made sense and even the ugly
> little puppet started to grow on me to the point I actually began to see
> him as kind of cute.  Mind you if I had a kid who looked like that....  At
> the end, the addition of bunraku worked for me, isolated the story in a
> place in time, a Japan that no longer exists (if it ever did) and in the
> context of this production, makes perfect sense.
> 
> Butterfly and Fanciulla are still the only two operas that bring tears to
> my eyes.
> 
> Donald
> 
> On Thu, Mar 8, 2018 at 7:41 AM, Bob Kosovsky <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
>>>   Was kind of embarrassed to publicly state that I saw those "Chucky"
>>> movies.  My two nephews used to like it when I took them to see horror
>>> movies and I did.  The "puppet" in the current Met production of
>>> "Butterfly" actually makes me physically ill. I find it grotesque and
>>> simply unwatchable.
>> 
>> Different strokes for different folks.  I've never seen one of those
>> Chucky movies.  But in high school we had to study Chinese opera, Japanese
>> No plays, and most importantly, Bunraku. Thus, by the time my classmates
>> and I were 16 (this would be 1971), we were exposed to theater traditions.
>> 
>> When I saw the Met's Butterfly, it made perfect sense.  In fact, I came
>> away slightly pensive because I felt the puppeteers made the child much
>> more engaging and sympathetic than any child actor could ever accomplish.
>> 
>> If you're still disgusted by the puppet - and assuming that you want to
>> change your attitude rather than continue to enjoy being disgusted by the
>> puppet - perhaps the solution is to search "Bunraku" on YouTube (I get
>> 30,000 hits) and learn something about this significant theater tradition.
>> 
>> 
>> Bob Kosovsky, Ph.D. -- Curator, Rare Books and Manuscripts,
>> Music Division, The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts
>> blog:  http://www.nypl.org/blog/author/44   Twitter: @kos2
>> Listowner: OPERA-L ; EXLIBRIS-L ; SMT-ANNOUNCE ; SoundForge-users
>> -- My opinions do not necessarily represent those of my institutions --
>> 
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