'Madama Butterfly' -
'... a strong yet tender account of Puccini's cunning score.'
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
Copyright © 5 April 2006
Robert Anderson, Cairo, Egypt