Madame Butterfly

Friday, October 2, 2009

Had tickets to the Hungarian State Opera
to see Madame Butterfly
on Thursday night
- sad story,
good production
Cio-Cio-San (soprano) - Zsuzsanna Bazsinka
Pinkerton (tenor) - Istvan Kovacshazi
Madame Butterfly is hauntingly lyrical opera which,
in its day,
mirrored the West's new interest in Japan.
Puccini himself studied Japanese folk songs and manners
in a bid of authenticity.
But while he borrows some Japanese motifs
and imitates some Japanese melodies,
the music remains Italian.
Unusually, though,
this is a tragedy laced with cruelty.
Only 15 and already a geisha
when she meets Pinkerton,
the purity of her love contrasts fiercely
with the American's predatory cynicism.
This innocence is conveyed in the sumptuous duet
closing Act 1,
the -ever-hopeful "One Fine Day",
and even in the farewell to her child.
Puccini described it as his most
"deeply-felt and imaginative" opera.

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