CD Reviews | CTD (Briefly Noted) | JFL (Dip Your Ears) | DVD Reviews


One More 'Butterfly'

Style masthead

Read my review published today in the Style section of the Washington Post:

Charles T. Downey,
‘Butterfly’ honors Japan, showcases young singers

Washington Post, March 17, 2011

(L to R) Jennifer Lynn Waters (Butterfly), Akiro Licitra (Dolore), Sarah Mesko (Suzuki) in Madama Butterfly, Washington National Opera (photo by Scott Suchman)
Given the subject matter, a performance of Puccini’s “Madama Butterfly” is an odd thing for Washington National Opera to dedicate to the people of Japan. Nevertheless, Placido Domingo made this symbolic gesture of unity from the podium at the Kennedy Center Opera House on Tuesday night, leading the orchestra in a solemn rendition of the Japanese national anthem. It would be unreasonable to expect the gesture to be anything more than symbolic: The struggling company’s special performance of the opera, featuring its Domingo-Cafritz Young Artist Program, was being underwritten by a donor.

In this rather long run of “Butterfly,” Domingo was set to conduct late in the schedule, at a point probably out of earshot of newspaper critics. The orchestra played with the same amount of technical polish, but the score had none of the flow and assured, unified ensemble as under music director Philippe Auguin. Confident singers sometimes overruled tempos from the stage, and less secure ones occasionally faltered at entrances. Domingo’s most positive contribution, as usual, was his celebrity: People craned their necks and stood up to get a glimpse of him. [Continue reading]
Puccini, Madama Butterfly
Domingo-Cafritz Young Artists Program
Washington National Opera
Kennedy Center Opera House

No comments: