Madama Butterfly - Giacomo Puccini / Netherlands Opera
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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
Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.
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 ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ms. Kabaivanska, not only sings the part but the emotions in her face added to that splended voice brings Cho Cho San tp a reality . Read morePublished 2 months ago by MICHAEL P. DA GROSA
Raina Kabaivanska absolutely demolishes the stage. I live for her singing and her conviction to this role. Do yourself a favor and buy this. Right now! Do it!Published 7 months ago by Shawn L.
Robert Wilson's concept is very thought provoking. But I think this production is best for someone who has seen the opera many times, because much of the tension comes from... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Marcus Aurelius
Sadly, very few productions of Madam Butterfly are of sufficient quality to do justice to this brilliant plot, score, anf libtretto. Read morePublished 16 months ago by Online purchase
The set was lovely and a perfect setting for Madama Butterfly. The singing and acting were well done by all of the cast members. Read morePublished 22 months ago by BGLM
Singing, Orchestra playing, Staging and Atmosphere are worth having this One!
No dummies on the stage and "let them be surprised with this new take. Read more
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