Maestro Antonio Pappano and the cast of the Royal Opera production discuss the rehearsal process.
English National Opera presented Butterfly two years ago with a puppet as Trouble, Butterfly’s son.
Do you think it works?
A short animated film to Butterfly’s Act II aria “Un bel dì vedremo.”
Glyndebourne Opera updated the story to 1950s post-World War II Japan:
Punk rock producer Malcom McLaren’s take:
The Kazakh countertenor Erik Kurmangaliev singing Butterfly’s Act III aria in a Russian-language production of American playwright David Henry Hwang’s play M. Butterfly (which actually does not follow the plot of the opera at all, but concerns a relationship between a French diplomat and a Chinese opera singer
This is one of my favorite versions of the opera, produced for film, not the stage, in a 1975. No subtitles, but beautifully and sensitively performed.
Orientalism: “La Japonaise (Mme. Monet in Kimono” (Claude Monet, 1875).
Photo from Operation Babylift, Saigon, 1975: a U.S. Naval officer about to take a Vietnamese orphan, one of thousands, onboard a plane to be adopted in America. For more on Operation Babylift, go here:
A French film version of the complete opera made in 1996: this is the one we will be analyzing in class.
In 2018, Pacific Opera Project presented an ambitious production of Butterfly in Japanese and English, NOT Italian, because Cio-Cio-San and Pinkerton would have communicated in their respective languages. The English sections have Japanese subtitles, and the Japanese sections have English subtitles.
The opposite of orientalism? More than 100,000 Americans of Japanese ancestry were imprisoned without charge during World War II:
For more, go here to the fascinating 50 Objects/Stories site: