Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Giacomo Puccini, Ying Huang, Richard Cowan|
Puccini - Madame Butterfly / Huang, Troxel, Cowan, Liang; Concon (1995 film)
Genres: Soundtracks, Broadway & Vocalists
Opera's most intense tearjerker beautifully interpreted...
Eric D. Anderson | South Bend, IN United States | 03/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Butterfly is simply one of the most perfect operas ever written. It's unusual to attend a live performance where you can't hear audible sobs coming from your fellow audience members, if you yourself aren't too emotionally overcome to notice! Puccini is the master in this territory, and in Butterfly, he outdoes himself! Butterfly conquers in every aspect--melodically rich, dramatically powerful, musically and orchestrally innovative--above all, it shakes you inside.This performance was done for a beautifully shot movie, which I'd also recommend, especially if you're a newcommer to opera. There could hardly be a better introduction to the art form. It may be true that this recording is a bit of a studio concoction, and that Ying Huang's voice is too small for Butterfly on the stage (as far as I know, on stage she's done Mozart and Haydn, but never Butterfly), but if your purist sensibilities can forgive that, I think you'll have to admit that she's close to the ideal interpreter. Butterfly, after all, is a teenage girl. A big dramatic voice may help in competing with Puccini's big orchestral moments, but it doesn't say "I'm a teenager". But Ying Huang's voice does. It's lovely, girlish, and innocent sounding. After listening to it, it's hard to picture Renata Scotto (whom I very much like) as Butterfly. I also like the other cast members. Richard Troxell may not compete with the greatest of all time, but he sings well and with passion.Puccini is often disparaged and compared unfavorably with Verdi, because he and his operas are apolitical, and focus on a narrower range than Verdi's. But that's stupid. There are many of us who love politics. Yes, but everyone in the world has fallen in love, and felt the pain of rejection. And Puccini drives home those feelings with a power and sophistication that Verdi could only have dreamt about. Madama Butterfly is exhibit number one."
A Most Beautiful Butterfly
Z. Yang | Hockessin, DE USA | 05/23/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This filmed Madame Butterfly, featuring a fresh-voiced Chinese soprano as Cio-Cio-San, has probably given a most authentic display of the tragic story, the intense drama originated from the clashes of East and West culture, as well as a glimpse of Japanese traditions.Chinese soprano Ying Huang has given a most heartfelt singing and acting in this Madame Butterfly. With a light voice to tackle this dramatic and heavy-singing role, Huang's fine singing and sweet timbre has refreshed the Cio-Cio-San's youthfulness and enriched her exquisiteness. Her oriental background must have played an important role in understanding Cio-Cio-San's sincerity and sacrifice, and in naturally conveying the unique femininity of Japanese women. A beautiful lyric soprano, Huang sings Butterfly's arias with such emotion that she'll touch you deeply in the heart. Pinkerton, however antipathetic, is both vocally and visually charming. Richard Troxell's sentimental approach to the character and expressive singing has brought much conviction to Pinkerton's attractiveness to Butterfly. Their duet at the wedding night is full of poetic beauty and is one of the highlights of the opera. Other characters are also well rendered, including a well sung and handled Sharpless by Richard Cowan, and Suzuki by excellent mezzo Ning Liang. Watching the DVD of this film is a wonderful experience, since every one demonstrates great acting besides the great singing. Listening to the sound track will let you focus on the music and singing, and there is no doubt that Huang's singing has made the listening a memorable experience."