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Puccini - Madama Butterfly
Puccini - Madama Butterfly
Actors: Mirella Freni, Placido Domingo, Christa Ludwig, Robert Kerns, Michel Sénéchal
Director: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle
Genres: Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
NR     2005     2hr 26min

Of all Puccini's major operas, the intimate tragedy of Madama Butterfly is least in need of elaborate staging and might therefore benefit most from the close scrutiny of film. The story is domestic, the setting Spartan, th...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Mirella Freni, Placido Domingo, Christa Ludwig, Robert Kerns, Michel Sénéchal
Director: Jean-Pierre Ponnelle
Creators: Ernst Wild, Wolfgang Treu, Fritz Buttenstedt, David Belasco, Giuseppe Giacosa, Jean-Louis Martinoty, Luigi Illica
Genres: Drama, Music Video & Concerts, Musicals & Performing Arts
Sub-Genres: Drama, DTS, Classical
Studio: Deutsche Grammophon
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 06/14/2005
Theatrical Release Date: 00/00/1974
Release Year: 2005
Run Time: 2hr 26min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
Edition: Classical
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Italian, English, German, French, Spanish, Mandarin Chinese
Subtitles: English, Spanish, German, French, Italian
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Movie Reviews

Despite the film, Puccini conquers.
drkhimxz | Freehold, NJ, USA | 09/14/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Not having read the brief message on the back of the cover, it came as a surprise that this was a film not a photographed live performance. The opening scene, as some reviewers have pointed out, was hardly an inducement to stay the course. (It showed a disheveled Pinkerton in T-Shirt running out of what we learn is his Japanese house, obviously in the grip of strong emotions for whose cause all who know the story of Madame Butterfly immediately register.) Customarily, I do not like filmed versions much preferring photographed live performances.
To be fair, I did not mind the unmoving mouths indicating introspective rather than objectified expression. What I did mind was the failure to take advantage of the possibilities inherent in film making but denied to the stage. This lack of adventurousness made for a lack of vigor and creativity in the production.
Yet, regardless of being an example of routine film-making, I had quite a good time. The reason is simple enough: the ravishing music by Puccini, which never goes stale, and the top-notch singing by the two stars, Domingo as Pinkerton, Freni as Butterfly. Having the likes of Christa Ludwig in support strengthened the positive response. Frankly, while I would have preferred seeing them sing live, with all its risks, but yet with its spark of spontaneity, I still could not resist that music, so endowed with the spirit of love dominant and love betrayed.If you have seen numerous versions of the opera, probably you should pass on this one and take another look at a production with which you are familiar. If you have never seen the opera in full, or have seen it only a few times, it is quite likely this will provide you with a most satisfying experience. Later you can take on one of the more full-blooded live performances."