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Rigidly Puritanical

'Madama Butterfly' -
reviewed by
ROBERT ANDERSON

'... a strong yet tender account of Puccini's cunning score.'

Giacomo Puccini: Madama Butterfly. De Nederlandse Opera. © 2005 Opus Arte

Having wondered at scores of Japanese tourists scurrying between my legs on lightning museum visits, I was initially surprised to find most of this operatic cast twice the size I expected. This mature and stately Butterfly is no fifteen-year-old whose wings might be fastened with a pin; she could easily have given her brute of a B F Pinkerton his comeuppance, and her numerous relatives might well have produced the hard knocks he so richly deserved. As it is, the soft-hearted American consul, Sharpless, remains the only character to show the naval cad a piece of his gentle mind. It is as well to remember that Pinkerton's exit aria of vain repentance was a Puccini afterthought.

Cheryl Barker in the title role of Madama Butterfly. DVD screenshot © 2003 NPS
Cheryl Barker in the title role of Madama Butterfly. DVD screenshot © 2003 NPS

 

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Copyright © 5 April 2006 Robert Anderson, Cairo, Egypt

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