[Met Performance] CID:209620

Madama Butterfly
Metropolitan Opera House, Fri, March 3, 1967

Debut : Lisa Puleo

Madama Butterfly (467)
Giacomo Puccini | Luigi Illica/ Giuseppe Giacosa
Renata Scotto

Barry Morell

Nedda Casei

Ron Bottcher

Andrea Velis

Lorenzo Alvary

Russell Christopher

Lisa Puleo [Debut]

Kate Pinkerton
Shirley Love

Gene Boucher

William Stanz

Francesco Molinari-Pradelli

Yoshio Aoyama

Motohiro Nagasaka

Stage Director
Patrick Tavernia

Madama Butterfly received ten performances this season.

Review 1:

Review of John Ardoin in the Dallas News

Scotto Triumphs in "Butterfly"

The performance of "Madama Butterfly" at the Metropolitan Opera Tuesday

Evening was our first opportunity to see a production from the old Met on the

stage of the new house.

This "Butterfly" (designed by Motohiro Nagasaka) is some 10 years old now, and, if anything, it seemed more healthy and in better shape at Lincoln Center than it did in recent years down on Broadway.

For "Butterfly," the open*ing of the top of the proscenium was masked down creating a more comfortable stage picture than was seen in several of the new productions viewed last fall (in particular, we are thinking of the Beaton "Traviata"). Butterfly's cottage still retained its charm, and the trees behind it were still wrinkled and not correctly lighted (some things never seem to change. New house or not).

One decided difference between the "Butterfly" Tuesday and the "Butterfly" last season was how the voices shone thanks to the New Met's superb acoustics (which continue to be a marvel.) Tuesday's protagonist, as last season, was soprano Renata Scotto. Her voice seemed fuller and to come with greater ease. One was even aware of what might be called the mechanics of her voice.

On this particular occasion, she was in extraordinary vocal estate, her tones being radiant and telling. Her Butterfly remains one of the supreme operatic characterizations of the contemporary stage. It has deepened in refinement and poignancy (we are not ashamed to admit that it was necessary to resort to a handkerchief frequently during the evening).

No Butterfly within recent memory (and we have missed none of the famous interpreters of this role of the last 15 years, except Maria Callas) made one so acutely aware of what a heel Pinkerton truly was. Miss Scotto accomplished this in so many ways: Through her fiery reaffirmation of faith in him when Suzuki doubts his return, in her proud rejection of Yarnadori, and most of all in the tender exaltation she brought to the letter scene with Sharpless.

MISS SCOTTO is not a commanding woman physically. She is slight and moonfaced. Yet these very features, coupled with her expressive hands, created a moving portrait of an Oriental maiden who grows (before our eyes) from a fluttering, shy bride, to a noble resolved woman. It was a dramatic feat, wrought with truth.

Barry Morell appeared as Pinkerton, and he gave a solid performance. One with many moments of vocal excellence to it. Ron Bottcher was a sturdy Sharpless (though his voice seemed quite thin at the top of the staff). Nedda Casei was Suzuki and Andrea Velis was Goro.

Conductor Francesco Molinari-Pradelli brought a soft ease to all he did, making the music glow. There was no doubt that he held the reins, but neither was there doubt that he did so with tenderness and care. The orchestra responded with some superb playing. In short, it was one of those special nights that has made the Metropolitan Opera mean so much in the minds of so many for so long.

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