[Met Tour] CID:131440

Madama Butterfly
Metropolitan Theatre, Boston, Massachusetts, Sat, March 29, 1941 Matinee

Madama Butterfly (257)
Giacomo Puccini | Luigi Illica/ Giuseppe Giacosa
Licia Albanese

Charles Kullman

Lucielle Browning

John Brownlee

Alessio De Paolis

John Gurney

George Cehanovsky

Kate Pinkerton
Thelma Votipka

Wilfred Engelman

Ettore Panizza

Review 1:

Review of Morris Hastings in the Boston Evening Transcript

Licia Albanese a Fine "Butterfly"

As it should be, the Metropolitan Opera Company's performance last Saturday afternoon of "Madama Butterfly" was a good show in spite of some garish Urban sets, some fairly unattractive costumes and an orchestra under Mr. Panizza's direction that did not have quite the drive and color one could wish.

Chiefly responsible for the success of the production was Licia Albanese. Having made her local debut as comedienne in "The Marriage of Figaro" the previous Thursday evening, she proved herself to be vocally and dramatically a tragedienne of power and distinction as the heroine of Puccini's opera. Her characterization of the pathetic Japanese girl so cruelly treated by the American naval officer was far more Latin than Oriental in temperament, but then so is Puccini's music. Less persuasive as the shy, naively affectionate girl of the first act, she was completely splendid in those wonderfully effective scenes of the other two acts that call for a display of greater emotionalism.

For example, the scene in which the American consul Sharpless tries to read Butterfly the letter from Pinkerton had a deeper pathos and veracity than any performance this reporter can remember since the days when Farrar and Easton were playing the roles, and the meeting between Butterfly and her faithless lover's American wife was finely accomplished.

Mme. Albanese was excellently companioned in the Saturday afternoon performance. Charles Kullman made a youthful and personable Pinkerton. Although his voice is not a big one, he uses it artistically, and his acting particularly in the last act when he realizes the evil he has done, was superior. John Brownlee's Sharpless was admirably easy and sympathetic in manner and voice. Lucielle Browning made the most of the role of the devoted Suzuki.

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