"Every night, since May 28th, 1904, somewhere in the world, there has been a performance of Madame Butterfly. Why is Madame Butterfly one of the best-loved operas in the world? Infused with the passionate, breathtaking music of Giacomo Puccini, this audiobook explains not only the dramatic content of the opera, but its context as well. Many listeners might not know that the opera's premiere was a huge flop - audiences were outrageously critical! It was only after Puccini revised and edited the score, that it became the wild success that it remains today. Delving deep into the political, historical, and musical elements of the opera, music historian Thomson Smillie gives listeners a comprehensive and entertaining education on this opera. The audio is narrated by David Timson, whose cheery voice lends a light touch to the information-packed exploration of this adored opera.
Madama Butterfly runs the gamut of operatic emotions. The title heroine has a fragility wonderfully expressed in her entry music, deep sexual instincts as shown in the love duet, and immense tragic stature in her last hours. The fate of Madama Butterfly - married to an American sailor and then abandoned - engages our emotions to a degree equaled by few other opera heroines. The oriental setting and the exquisite orchestral and choral writings are treasured bonuses.
This audiobook is the perfect introduction to Madama Butterfly. We learn about the background to Puccini's "Japanese" opera, the social themes of honor and loyalty it involves, and how it progressed from a surprisingly unsuccessful premiere to one of the central and best-loved works of the international operatic repertory. As the story unfolds, we get to know the melodies which make this such a moving and compelling opera.
©2002 Naxos AudioBooks (P)2002 Naxos AudioBooks
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A great introduction to this opera. The mix of music, story and comment works well. Well read. To really appreciate the opera when you see it make sure you listen to this first. Your enjoyment and understanding will be greatly enhanced.
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