(State Opera SA, 7/9/2006)
In many ways, this piece is ridiculous, but Puccini patched up its failings, including the poverty of the libretto, and triumphed over both the odds and the hostility of Milan, where it premiered in 1904. With some of his loveliest music connecting a few inky dots and a prescient theme of American domination (and carelessness), Butterfly’s desolation still moves us and in this production, her simple sorry plight was not badly sung by Kirsti Harris, amid some stark but satisfyingly depressing scenery. Pinkerton’s Stars and Stripes motif never fails to startle! It was conducted by Aldo Salvagno and directed by Moffatt Oxenbould.
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