When considering the characteristics of opera, it naturally follows that the genre would be difficult to film. Not so for Mitterrand with his Madame Butterfly; from casting to direction to filming, Mitterrand wins. The title role must do far more than "look Asian," she must also live the role...even more so when being filmed as "Butterfly." Ying Huang proves herself a sensitive and sensible actress as well as a singer with an expressive and powerful voice.
Richard Troxell as "B. F. Pinkerton" shines in his role, allowing the callousness of his character clash with an accidental love. Troxell uses the flexibility of the film medium to act as many opera singers seem unable to do upon finding themselves on a stage. In fact, the power of this video lies in the fact that the singers realize that they have the opportunity to be better actors than they could be in a staged version of the same work. There are retakes, more natural positions, beautiful scenery, and an amazing acoustic, even when outdoors!
All in all, it is a fine work by Frederic Mitterand, Huang, Troxell, Cowan ("Sharpless"), Liang ("Suzuki"), and the rest. None of the roles had less than an accomplished actor and singer; even the role of "Kate Pinkerton" played by Constance Hauman was rendered with a delicate hand aware of a conflicting position and an involuntary hostility.
Enjoyable for the everyday opera viewer as a fresh, beautiful feast for the eye and ear, and a first-rate film for the opera newcomer.
Greg Fitzmaurice hosts.