[Met Performance] CID:213940
Madama Butterfly {477} Metropolitan Opera House: 03/25/1968.

(Debut: Nora Feuerstein
Review)


Metropolitan Opera House
March 25, 1968


MADAMA BUTTERFLY {477}
Puccini-Illica/Giacosa

Cio-Cio-San.............Teresa Stratas
Pinkerton...............Barry Morell
Suzuki..................Nedda Casei
Sharpless...............Theodor Uppman
Goro....................Andrea Velis
Bonze...................Norman Scott
Yamadori................Russell Christopher
Dolore..................Nora Feuerstein [Debut]
Kate Pinkerton..........Louise Pearl
Commissioner............Gene Boucher
Registrar...............Hal Roberts

Conductor...............Lamberto Gardelli

Production..............Yoshio Aoyama
Staged by...............Patrick Tavernia
Designer................Motohiro Nagasaka

Madama Butterfly received twelve performances this season.

Review of Harriett Johnson in the Post

Met's Stunning New Butterfly

For Teresa Stratas, already a young veteran on the Metropolitan Opera roster, last night was a beginning. That is, we hope it was a beginning of many repetitions of her singing the title role in "Madama Butterfly." She sang the part for the first time at the Met and she was perfectly cast. Those who remember her Gretel earlier this season in "Hansel and Gretel" recall how appealing she was as a child. She was no less appealing as the 15-year-old Japanese bride and, of course, emotionally far more powerful, due to the nature of the role.

Small, with a beautiful lyric voice which she will keep in this genre if she is wise, and so intense in communication that it almost overwhelms her at times, Miss Stratas in Act II was both child and woman and superb at both. During Act I, she was finding herself, but beginning with her aria, "Un bel di," in Act II, she built the emotion until she declared her faith in Pinkerton despite his seeming desertion. She was magnificent.

Morell's Improvement

Despite a few details which were somewhat awkward, such as her Japanese steps, she caught the essence of authenticity, demonstrated so strongly ten years ago when Yoshio Aoyama first directed the new production, designed by Japan's great designer, Motohiro Nagasaka. She was unforgettable as she stood under the cherry tree illuminated by an ecstasy that uprooted our emotions while she ordered every flower to be shaken from its branches.

Another pleasure of the evening was Barry Morell's Pinkerton. Handsome, thinner than previously, and singing with more ease than I can remember from him in recent years, he was like a new man in the role. Theodor Uppman, the baritone with the phenomenal blond curly hair, I must say, as Sharpless, looked, from head to neck, at least, like the natural father of Trouble. Nora Feuerstein, as the child was a miniature of Uppman, not Morell. All three were very personable, along with Miss Stratas, but Uppman suggested a new dimension to the plot by his appearance.

Lamberto Gardelli, who was conducting the Puccini opera for the first time at the Met, proceeded without nuance. He was too loud all of the time except when there was no alternative but to be soft. Gardelli seemed unaware that there must be color, subtle expressiveness and shading with the singer whether the music is marked loud or less loud, whether fast or slow. He marched the score like a proud sergeant pushing recruits.



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