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Madame Butterfly

4.5 out of 5 stars 93 ratings

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January 1, 2002
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Product Description

An acclaimed cinematic adaptation of Puccini's popular opera about the tragic love affair between a naive geisha and the American naval officer who deserts her and their young child. Nominated for two French Cesar awards.

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Like the finest of film scores with its fluid beauty and succession of intensely romantic tunes, Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly has a surprisingly cinematic feel. In 1995 director Frederic Mitterand exploited this quality of the story, exposing a young woman's disillusionment against a backdrop of cultural chasms. Shot on location, with Tunisia doubling convincingly as a turn-of-the-century Nagasaki, this Butterfly shines with fragile beauty. The house becomes a brilliantly used set, at once airy and full of the scent of flowers and at the same time a cage for the trapped woman. Archive footage of bygone Nagasaki is used skillfully to underline the distance between the 15-year-old bride and Pinkerton.

Purists may prefer a more traditionally robust, stage-bound Butterfly, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more visually heartbreaking interpretation. Chinese soprano Ying Huang doesn't rock the rafters with her vocal power; hers is a tender, delicately observed performance. Tenor Richard Troxell's self-seeking Pinkerton is well sung. Overall, this is a haunting cinematic treatment of an enduringly popular opera. --Piers Ford


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4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
93 customer ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on June 26, 2010
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Reviewed in the United States on January 14, 2011
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Reviewed in the United States on May 30, 2002
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Reviewed in the United States on March 31, 2012
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Top international reviews

Joseph Emile April
5.0 out of 5 stars Good service and product
Reviewed in Canada on December 9, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Production!
Reviewed in Canada on January 6, 2013
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
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