[Met Performance] CID:143490
Madama Butterfly {273} Metropolitan Opera House: 12/28/1946.

(Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
December 28, 1946


MADAMA BUTTERFLY {273}

Cio-Cio-San.............Dorothy Kirsten
Pinkerton...............Charles Kullman
Suzuki..................Lucielle Browning
Sharpless...............John Brownlee
Goro....................Alessio De Paolis
Bonze...................Osie Hawkins
Yamadori................George Cehanovsky
Kate Pinkerton..........Maxine Stellman
Commissioner............George Cehanovsky

Conductor...............Pietro Cimara


Review of Jerome D. Bohn in the Herald Tribune

Saturday night's repetition of Puccini's "Madama Butterfly" at the Metropolitan Opera House brought with it the unexpected appearance here for the first time in the title role of Dorothy Kirsten, who replaced the indisposed Licia Albanese. Lucielle Browning was heard as Suzuki and John Brownlee as Sharpless, both for the first time this season. Charles Kullman was again the Pinkerton, and the less weighty roles were in the hands of Maxine Stellman and the Messrs. De Paolis, Cehanovsky and Hawkins. Pietro Cimara, conducted this opera for the first time this season.

Miss Kirsten sang Cio-Cio-San's exacting music with unfailing tonal limpidity, her soprano voice retaining its transparent sheen even in the most taxing passages of this high-lying role. Other Cio-Cio-San's have brought greater emotional intensity to the role but few such consistently alluring sounds. Although rather tall to be wholly convincing as a Japanese girl of fifteen, her portrayal was visually enhanced by authentic, handsome costumes and was well considered from the dramatic point of view.

Neither Miss Browning nor Mr. Brownlee had one of their better nights, the former investing Suzuki's music with tones that were more often wobbly than steady and more often edgy than round, the latter singing with a dryness which divested Sharpless's music of a sensuous appeal. The barrytone enacted the role of the American consul in a hard-boiled manner which ill-became it. Mr. Kullman was no less lachrymose than he had been at the opera's first presentation this season. Mr. Cimara's conducting was on the whole justly paced, well proportioned and expressive.



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