[Met Performance] CID:144640
Madama Butterfly {279} Indiana University Auditorium, Bloomington, Indiana: 04/15/1947.

(Review)


Bloomington, Indiana
April 15, 1947


MADAMA BUTTERFLY {279}

Cio-Cio-San.............Daniza Ilitsch
Pinkerton...............Richard Tucker
Suzuki..................Lucielle Browning
Sharpless...............John Brownlee
Goro....................Alessio De Paolis
Bonze...................Osie Hawkins
Yamadori................George Cehanovsky
Kate Pinkerton..........Irene Jordan
Commissioner............John Baker

Conductor...............Cesare Sodero


Review of Walter Whitworth in the Indianapolis News

"Butterfly" Given by Met at Indiana University

Mme. Illitsch Brilliant in Opera Performance

BLOOMINGTON, IND. April 16 - The performance of Puccini's "Madama Butterfly," sung by the Metropolitan in Indiana University's Auditorium Tuesday night, was a personal triumph for Daniza Illitsch but not much of a triumph for the others. Mme. Illitsch is new to this country.

She has a beautiful voice. What is more, she knows how to use it. She masters every color, every shading. Her phrasing is well-nigh flawless. Her technic is so perfected that she apparently can do anything she wishes with any of her tones. Indeed, she created character with her voice as easily and as well as she created it with gesture, facial expression and movement.

She does not look like Butterfly, it must be admitted, for she is on the plump side, but plump opera stars are no novelty. Opera stars who sing with Mme. Illitsch's finesse and subtlety, however, are a novelty. It is difficult to be very aroused by this sentimental tale - which went through several adaptations before Puccini set it to music - but this singer came as close to making one feel the poignancy of the situation as any singers of recent memory.

The score doesn't wear as well as some of the other Puccini scores, for it is very spotty, particularly in the first and third acts. Only the middle act retains much of its original charm and drama and pathos. And it was here that Mme. Illitsch did most to evoke the proper illusion. Her happiness, her growing concern, her sudden outburst of anger and her final, and pitiful hope all were marvelously projected, both by voice and action.

The others in the cast were competent, as that word is used today, but were not outstanding. The singing as a whole was not as good as Monday night's singing.

The auditorium was packed and the audience was enthusiastic - for Bloomington. College towns, for some reason, are invariably reserved. But the cast should have been pleased by the response.



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