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DCist: Madama Butterfly @ WNO

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See my review of the Washington National Opera's production of Madama Butterfly, published at DCist:

DCist at the Opera: 'Madama Butterfly' (DCist, March 1):

The Washington National Opera is going to make it through the financial crisis, thanks to being absorbed into the Kennedy Center. It has meant some sacrifices, not least of which is some less adventurous programming this season and next. Such is the company's latest production of Puccini's gorgeous but overdone Madama Butterfly, the most often produced opera in North America, according to Opera America.

This is WNO's third production of the work, just in the last ten years, and it happens to coincide with another production this month at Virginia Opera. So while opera regulars may want to sit this one out, it is the sort of popular work that is a fine introduction to the genre for a neophyte. In fact, WNO's obsessive rotation of the Puccini chestnuts -- La Bohème, Manon Lescaut, Tosca, Turandot, Butterfly -- is a constant throughout the company's history: maybe it is time to bring back La Rondine or Il Trittico, or even to get around to staging La fanciulla del West for a change.

What makes this production, heard on Saturday night, worth your time is that WNO's new music director, Philippe Auguin, is in the pit, working more magic. [Continue reading]
Puccini, Madama Butterfly
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Opera House

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