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Madama Butterfly - Giacomo Puccini / Netherlands Opera

4.0 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Robert Wilson's pure and highly stylised 2003 production enhances the timeless beauty of Puccini's moving Japanese tragedy. Cheryl Barker and Martin Thompson lead an inspired cast in a highly charged recording from the Amsterdam Muziektheater with the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by a masterful and passionate Edo de Waart.

Sung in Italian with English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and Dutch subtitles.

Madama Butterfly (Cio-Cio-San): Cheryl Barker
B. F. Pinkerton: Martin Thompson
Suzuki: Catherine Keen
Sharpless: Richard Stilwell
Kate Pinkerton: Anneleen Bijnen
Goro: Peter Blanchet
Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra
Chorus of De Nederlandse Opera
Musical director: Edo de Waart
Stage director: Robert Wilson


Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Cheryl Barker, Martin Thompson
  • Directors: Robert Wilson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Classical, Color, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Dutch
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Kultur
  • DVD Release Date: November 18, 2008
  • Run Time: 170 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001FZQOO0
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #243,239 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: VHS Tape
Dear fellow music lover! I am so happy Amazon is bringing this title to us!
This video is filmed in the Arena di Verona, with the MAGNIFICENT singer and actress Raina Kabaivanska!
This Madama Butterfly has everything you could ask for: Excelent singers (Kabaivanska and Nazzareno Antinori as Pinkerton plus the cast), it is wonderfully directed by Maurizio Arena, and the film is so well done, that you can actually appreciate all the "flavors" of the orquestration, while at the same time, hear very clearly every detail of the what's being sung...
The regie is FANTASTIC! Costumes and sets are impecable, and EVERY movement has a reason for being there... it is SO wonderful (I hope my enthusiasm can inspire you to see it!),
If you are someone who enjoys opera, you will be flabergasted with this version...
If you are into opera, the close ups are so wonderful that, let me tell you, it is like getting your own private lesson from Kabaivanska and Antinori!
This version is by far my favourite of all the Butterfly's that I have seen. Will delight very knowleageable people, opera amateurs, as well as people who know nothing about opera (but this one will "hook them up"! :-)
I do not get tired of watching it... every note, every movement is rich and deeply full of meaning.
Hope you enjoy it (and learn from it) as much as I do!
Ire
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Format: DVD
This 1983 Butterfly production of the Italian Radio and Television from Arena Di Verona is excellent. The DVD transfer from the original material is seamless - the video is vivid and clear, the audio (although only 2 channel) is dynamic and balanced. I also listened through my surround sound receiver's 5-channel stereo mode and felt like being in the middle of the Arena.
Now for the real treat: do not believe Amazon's editorial review that there are no opera superstars in this production. On the contrary this recording features the fantastic bulgarian singer Raina Kabaivanska, who is undeniably the best Butterfly performer in recent history and one of the greatest Puccini singers overall. It is a pity that she is not recognized as a diva in the US. But thanks to this wonderful DVD the american opera fans will be able to enjoy her magnificent singing and be emotionally dazzled by her brilliant acting. Her captivating performance in the final scene will leave you mesmerized.
Highly recommended!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
In Act I, Pinkerton describes Butterfly as "bewitching with her innocent arts. Delicate and fragile as blown glass, in stature, in bearing she resembles a figure on a painted screen, but, as from her background of glossy lacquer with a sudden movement she frees herself like a butterfly, she flutters and settles with quiet grace . . .."
Critics from Euroope agree those attributes are expressed to perfection by Bulgarian soprano, Raina Kabaivanska. "Incomparable," is the word most often used to describe her interpretation. Far from "unknown," she has been acclaimed for her over 400 performances of this role. For Butterfly and other operas, the beautiful Kabaivanska has been titled, "Queen of opera melodrama."
It is our great loss that the cast filmed in the DVD is unknown in the U.S. We must look to Europe to know that they are all artists of the first magnitude. Mezzo=soprano, Eleanora Jankovic, appears in many operas, and her performance as Suzuki is among her most famous roles. Her voice is as rich and true as is her evident devotion to Cio Cio Can: Butterfly. Lorenzo Saccomani, Sharpless here, has had many years as one of the most sought after baritones in opera. The same is true of tenor Nazzareno Antinari. Do not overlook Maestro Maurizio Arena! He is very sensitive to the musical nuances of Puccini.
Although this tragic heroine is age 15 years in Act I, and no more than 19 years in Act III, the viewer MUST know that Puccini was well aware this role could never be sung by any young girl. If the listener expects to hear a teen singing Butterfly, or that none but Japanese should sing any but the three Caucasian roles, this recording is not for you.
Read more ›
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Whatever other performances of "Butterfly" you might have in whatever medium they might have been preserved, this performance is simply one that you must have. To a person, the performances are fabulous both in the richness of the voices and in the quality of the characterizations. The venue allows for a large and inventive production, the sets are tastefully lush, the sound is vibrant, and the videography is superb. As has been said in other reviews, it does require a degree of "willing suspension of disbelief" for one to imagine Ms. Kabaivanska as a fifteen year old girl but it doesn't take long for her to charm the viewer so that it is hardly noticed. She truly wins one's heart as the loving, faithful, brave--but tragic--heroine. Again, if you miss having this recording, you will have missed a captivating and memorable experience.
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Format: DVD
Okay, so although there are a few DVD recordings of butterfly, none of them are all that great. According to me, this one is one of the better picks.
Big kudos to Kabaivanska... she sings and acts a tremendous butterfly. She doesn't quite pull of some of the high notes, especially at the end of butterfly's entrance and the first act duet, but for the most part she sings really well, and she's in character more than any other butterfly I have seen on screen. Un bel di is her best moment.... she's wonderfully emotive and sings her heart out.
Antinori can sing Pinkerton well enough, but his stage presence is wooden, and he keeps looking at the camera nervously which is terribly annoying, especially during the first act duet, when kabaivanska is doing a wonderful job of it. Both suzuki and sharpless are good.
Although this recording cannot even come close to the CD recordings by Scotto/Barbirolli (what a magnificent butterfly she was!!) or Callas/Karajan, I consider it the best we have so far on DVD.
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