[Met Performance] CID:210160
Madama Butterfly {473} War Memorial Auditorium, Boston, Massachusetts: 04/19/1967.

(Review)


Boston, Massachusetts
April 19, 1967


MADAMA BUTTERFLY {473}

Cio-Cio-San.............Gabriella Tucci
Pinkerton...............George Shirley
Suzuki..................Marcia Baldwin
Sharpless...............Frank Guarrera
Goro....................Andrea Velis
Bonze...................Clifford Harvuot
Yamadori................Russell Christopher
Dolore..................Unknown
Kate Pinkerton..........Shirley Love
Commissioner............Gene Boucher
Registrar...............William Stanz

Conductor...............George Schick

Review of Kevin Kelly in the Boston Morning Globe

'Butterfly' Rare but Reticent

The Metropolitan's "Madama Butterfly," presented Wednesday night at the Boston Auditorium, was a good, steady earnest production that begged nothing but emotion. Most of Puccini's pathos was there, sighing against soaring violins and ominous woodwinds, but there was a curious lack of emotional commitment.

The role of Cio-Cio-San was reasonably well sung by Gabriella Tucci, who has a well focused soprano which she uses to standard effect. Miss Tucci is talented but she is not gifted, and the difference can be hers. She sings with clarity and grace. She almost never forces her high notes. But there is, quite simply, no telling definition to her characterization. Thus her vocal performance is pleasurable without being particularly persuasive. As the love-lorn heroine who shyly patters into merciless romance with an American naval lieutenant, Miss Tucci has only a few moments of conviction. She sang the Letter Scene in Act Two with a genuine sense of communication, but I thought she handled "Un bel di" and her portion of the duet "O quanti occhi fisi" with more facility.

George Shirley was well cast as Pinkerton. His tenor is clear, direct, resonant, and he scaled the ardor of the love duet with compelling ease. Because of a deadline I was unable to hear his final aria, which is full of lush tenor anguish. Marcia Baldwin gave an acceptable performance as Suzuki, her voice blending nicely with Miss Tucci's in the Flower Duet, Frank Guarrera was good as Sharpless, and Clifford Harvout was effective as the Bonze.

The production, but the way, is of Japanese design and first seen here in 1958. Its picture postcard charm is now a trifle worn and its charm seems more serviceable than fragile. The orchestra was conducted by George Schick who had a tendency to overshadow the singers.

Tonight's opera is "Lohengrin," with Elisabeth Grummer replacing Leonie Rysanek.



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