In the Wings

Backstage glimpses with Boston Lyric Opera

Pucciniana #4

Oct 23, 2012 11:00:00 AM
By BLO Staff


The Un bel di Variations

by John Conklin, BLO Artistic Advisor

Sometimes it is interesting to see MADAMA BUTTERFLY sung "naked" - without the white makeup, the piled up geisha hair, the enveloping kimono. Here are such performances by Renata Tebaldi, Leontyne Price, Eleanor Steber and Teresa Stratas.

 Renata Tebaldi
Leontyne Price
 Eleanor Steber
Teresa Stratas

Remember - Butterfly's "real" age in the opera is but one year older than this teenager

In this excerpt from Franco Zeffirelli's 2002 film Callas Forever, the captivating French actress Fanny Ardant plays ( a mostly fictionalized ) Maria Callas in the last year of her life. Alone (except for eavesdropping figure of her manager - Jeremy Irons) she listens - and sings along - to her own recording of Butterfly

Another place where we can see singers deeply involved in a role but out of a theatrical context (and away from the gaze of an audience) - "on their own" as it were - is in, often very revelatory, rehearsal footage. In this instance it is, of course, the BUTTERFLY Act 1 love duet, Vogliatemi bene,  rather than our Un bel di.

With Jonas Kaufmann and Angela Gheorghiu

Topics: Angela Gheorghiu, arias, Boston, Boston Lyric Opera, Jonas Kaufmann, Leontyne Price, Madama Butterfly, madame butterfly, opera, Renata Tebaldi, Teresa Stratas, Un bl di, Eleanor Steber

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