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Butterfly, ridiculous and sublime August 4, 2006

Posted by Jeff in Italian, Opera, Theater.

Courtesy of my favorite opera blog, Parterre Box, here is an audio clip of Cio-Cio-San’s entrance from Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, pirate-recorded in Philadelphia, February 1967, with Richard Karp at the podium trying to keep things from descending into atonal hell…

and featuring Monserrat Caballé in a role she never recorded … perhaps understandably considering what La Cieca refers to as “a Nagasaki trainwreck.” The sad thing is, Caballe is note-perfect in this clip.

And just for a contrast, here’s Victoria de los Ángeles at the end of the same opera (different production, of course), with the Royal Philharmonic conducted by Raymond Cohen. Butterfly the way I would hope it would always be heard and seen.

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