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Customer Review

25 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best ever Butterfly live performance on DVD?, 28 Dec. 2011
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This review is from: Puccini: Madama Butterfly (Metropolitan Opera (DVD)
I give my review a questioning title because how would I know, but make no mistake this is a great production made greater by superlative performances all round. Although Anthony Minghella had died by the time this was recorded in 2008(The production started its life in 2006 at the English National Opera)his expert theatrical hand can still be detected in the performances of all the cast. The strength of this highly stylised production is that it is contrasted by totally naturalistic acting. Not an "opera actor" to be seen on this stage!
The Butterfly of Patricia Racette is breathtaking. Even with the usual over use of the film(TV?)directors closeup, revealing that she is certainly not 15 years old she is, dramatically, utterly convincing and vocally perfect. In 35 years of opera going I have not seen a better performance of this role.
Maria Zifchak's knowing Suzuki is sung beautifully but it is her relationship with Cio-Cio-San that makes it heartbreaking. Not the wasted character as usually portrayed
We have quite a sympathetic Pinkerton in this production, sung by Marcello Giordano in fine voice, the same being true of the Sharpless of Dean Croft. His letter scene in act2,with Ms Racette,is a triumph for them both. But don't forget to keep one eye on Suzuki.
The controversial aspect is the use of puppetry. Though not to everyones liking, this viewer bought into it after about 30 seconds! They are superb and Sorrow is so convincing, that I don't ever want to see a real 3 year old(however cute!)on stage again.
Oh, and for those who may be coming to this opera fresh, a reminder, you will need at least one box of tissues!
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Sep 2013 12:54:07 BDT
Mr Dawson,
You have reviewed another production of this opera. Moreover, this is a blu ray and not a dvd. Kindly check.
Satish Kamath
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