6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
There is much to enjoy here,
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This review is from: Puccini: Madama Butterfly [Blu-ray]  [Region Free] (Blu-ray)
Butterfly is always difficult to cast - mature caucasian sopranos just cannot look the part and of course the rest of the Japanese roles are similar. In recent years a large number of brilliant Asian singers, mostly from China and Korea, have appeared and it is disappointing they do not get selected more often for operas like Butterfly abd Turandot, particularly when Blu-ray discs are planned as they just make the visual side so much more realistic. It is no longer acceptable to say visual appearances don't matter. Having said that, this production makes a good attempt to disguise their Italian cast through skilled costume design and mostly one can overlook the obvious. Butterfly herself however is more difficult. Angeletti has a huge nose, rather large feet and in close ups her dental structure is very prominent. She tries hard and sings well but just does not remotely look like a 15 year old geisha. In the interlude between the two scenes in the second act, a short ballet appears that I felt added nothing to the production, but it was just odd and not a serious distraction.
The sets, lighting and sound were excellent considering this is an open air theatre. Full marks to the producers. This is thankfully a traditional production set in old Japan. No transfer to a bordello in Genoa or other modern nonsence! Sharpless was well sung and Pinkerton a really nasty cad as he is of course depicted in the story. I often wonder if he might one day appear as less selfish and more misguided, and therefore a bit more sympathetic, but not here. This is easily the best Butterfly I have seen on disc but there have been better productions in the theatre, notably one by the Australian Opera I saw last year. Hopefully more Blu-ray releases will appear to challenge this, but in the meantime there is much to enjoy and many good things in this release
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Oct 2011 22:43:20 BDT
Hi there thanks for the comment, I have a question, does this bluray version of Madame Butterfly contain "Act II Humming Chorus"? My friend loves that one and I hope this is the right purchase. Also is the sound quality good (esp. for Humming Chorus part)? Is there any reverb or irrelevant sound from audience/background etc.? thank you very much.
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Oct 2011 03:40:56 BDT
John Chandler says:
Yes the humming chorus is there at the end of act 2 with a parade of veiled Japanese ladies passing across the screen. 2.51 minutes. The final scene follows without a break but in the long introduction a ballet is inserted between Pinkerton and Butterfly (danced by slim professional dancers not the singers). I did not care for it very much but others might feel differently. It is not disruptive. The overall sound of this recording is good with no intrusive noises that I became aware of. Enjoy it!
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Oct 2011 08:46:41 BDT
Great, thanks a lot, one last question, for the "Humming Chorus", how different it is compared to the CD version in terms of mixing, length and acoustics? Puccini: Madama Butterfly
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Oct 2011 12:12:13 BDT
John Chandler says:
cannot help there, it depends which CD version you are comnparing it with. I am only giving my opinion on this Blu-ray release.
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