[Met Tour] CID:210160

Madama Butterfly
War Memorial Auditorium, Boston, Massachusetts, Wed, April 19, 1967

Madama Butterfly (473)
Giacomo Puccini | Luigi Illica/ Giuseppe Giacosa
Gabriella Tucci

George Shirley

Marcia Baldwin

Frank Guarrera

Andrea Velis

Clifford Harvuot

Russell Christopher


Kate Pinkerton
Shirley Love

Gene Boucher

William Stanz

George Schick

Review 1:

Review of Kevin Kelly in the Boston Morning Globe

'Butterfly' Rare but Reticent

The Metropolitan's "Madama Butterfly," presented Wednesday night at the Boston Auditorium, was a good, steady earnest production that begged nothing but emotion. Most of Puccini's pathos was there, sighing against soaring violins and ominous woodwinds, but there was a curious lack of emotional commitment.

The role of Cio-Cio-San was reasonably well sung by Gabriella Tucci, who has a well focused soprano which she uses to standard effect. Miss Tucci is talented but she is not gifted, and the difference can be hers. She sings with clarity and grace. She almost never forces her high notes. But there is, quite simply, no telling definition to her characterization. Thus her vocal performance is pleasurable without being particularly persuasive. As the love-lorn heroine who shyly patters into merciless romance with an American naval lieutenant, Miss Tucci has only a few moments of conviction. She sang the Letter Scene in Act Two with a genuine sense of communication, but I thought she handled "Un bel di" and her portion of the duet "O quanti occhi fisi" with more facility.

George Shirley was well cast as Pinkerton. His tenor is clear, direct, resonant, and he scaled the ardor of the love duet with compelling ease. Because of a deadline I was unable to hear his final aria, which is full of lush tenor anguish. Marcia Baldwin gave an acceptable performance as Suzuki, her voice blending nicely with Miss Tucci's in the Flower Duet, Frank Guarrera was good as Sharpless, and Clifford Harvout was effective as the Bonze.

The production, but the way, is of Japanese design and first seen here in 1958. Its picture postcard charm is now a trifle worn and its charm seems more serviceable than fragile. The orchestra was conducted by George Schick who had a tendency to overshadow the singers.

Tonight's opera is "Lohengrin," with Elisabeth Grummer replacing Leonie Rysanek.

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