The Metropolitan Opera HD Live: Season 3, Episode 9

Puccini: Madama Butterfly (7 Mar. 2009)

TV Episode  -   -  Music
8.0
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On shore leave in Japan, Lt. Pinkerton is ready for action and finds it in a wedding broker. Cio-Cio-San naively believes the marriage is real. Wait until the real Mrs. Pinkerton hears about this: there's sure to be a Little Trouble ahead.

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Title: Puccini: Madama Butterfly (07 Mar 2009)

Puccini: Madama Butterfly (07 Mar 2009) on IMDb 8/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Patricia Racette ...
Marcello Giordani ...
Dwayne Croft ...
Maria Zifchak ...
Greg Fedderly ...
Laura Fries ...
Cio-Cio-San's Relatieves - Cousin
Linda Mays ...
Cio-Cio-San's Relatieves - Mother
Jean Braham ...
Cio-Cio-San's Relatieves - Aunt
Stephen Paynter ...
Cio-Cio-San's Relatieves - Uncle Yakuside
Keith Miller ...
Christian Jeong ...
Dean Peterson ...
David Won ...
Edyta Kulczak ...
Kevin Augustine ...
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Storyline

On shore leave in Japan, Lt. Pinkerton is ready for action and finds it in a wedding broker. Cio-Cio-San naively believes the marriage is real. Wait until the real Mrs. Pinkerton hears about this: there's sure to be a Little Trouble ahead.

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7 March 2009 (USA)  »

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User Reviews

 
Pinocchio the Opera
30 October 2009 | by (Birmingham, England) – See all my reviews

Never work with children or animals. To which might be added …or puppets. When Anthony Minghela's production of Madama Butterfly premiered in London I was intrigued to read that it featured a life-size puppet as Butterfly's son. It sounded like a silly idea on paper.Now, seeing this production from the Met I was totally knocked out by it. From the moment the child …er puppet walks on stage in the middle of the second act I could not concentrate on anything else. He is controlled by three puppeteers, one for his head, one for his arms and one for his feet. The puppeteers are dressed in black with gauze covering their faces but I loved the fact that you could see the face of the man operating the doll's head. When the doll was happy he was beaming, when the doll was sad he was downcast.

Well, so much for the doll, what about the opera? This has been a star-studded Met season but I got the impression that on this particular afternoon they were fielding the B-team. Patricia Racette is perhaps the wrong side of 40 to convince as a 15-year-old geisha and Marcello Giordani is a wobbly Pinkerton, both physically and vocally. This opera can sometimes be rescued by decent performances in the minor roles but both Dwayne Croft as Sharpless and Maria Zifchak as Suzuki are unconvincing. The orchestra is ploddingly conducted by Patrick Summers.

Apart from the puppet, Minghella's production is unremarkable. It is very colourful and, in fact, looks more like a Broadway musical than an opera. I was particularly disappointed by the Act I love scene between Pinkerton and Butterfly. It takes place on a dark, empty stage lit by a few lanterns. It lacks any sort of intimacy with the singers standing as far from each other as possible as though someone is suffering from a bad attack of halitosis. Maybe it is the opera that I do not like. It is, after all very unpleasant but there was no lyricism in this production to counteract the brutality.


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