Opera Review: Madame Butterfly

In the title role, Ira Bertman’s expressive, pure soprano sounded rather too mature and sharp for an innocent, gentle 15-year-old girl.

By URY EPPSTEIN
July 18, 2017 22:11
1 minute read.
ISRAEL OPERA’S ‘Madame Butterfly.’

ISRAEL OPERA’S ‘Madame Butterfly.’. (photo credit: YOSSI ZWECKER)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

MADAME BUTTERFLY
Tel Aviv Opera House, July 16

Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly, performed at the Israeli Opera, directed by Keita Asari and with Ichiro Takada’s sets, mercifully avoided kitschy European-style Japonism, representing the foreign environment only via Japanese-style sliding doors and a Kyoto-style stone-andsand garden that had nothing to do with the plot. In the suicide scene, however, they could not avoid the traditional and unappetizing tomato ketchup coloring.

In the title role, Ira Bertman’s expressive, pure soprano sounded rather too mature and sharp for an innocent, gentle 15-year-old girl. In Act II, though, when Cio Cio-san had matured indeed, her voice matched the role, and her aria “Un bel di” (“One fine day”) was one of the performance’s great highlights.

As Pinkerton, Najmidin Mavlyanov’s radiant, wellshaped and significantly prolonged high tenor notes convincingly represented an American officer’s pride, haughtiness and arrogance – at least in the Italians’ eyes – though shortening and becoming almost human at last in his love duet with Butterfly, and expressing genuine remorse at the very end, when it was too late.

Ionut Pascu’s dark-timbred baritone was a warm, friendly sharpless, sounding punishing when addressing Pinkerton at the end. His hesitant taking leave of Butterfly was more effectively moving than extrovert gesticulations could have been.

Carlo Striulli’s vehemently cursing dark bass, as the Bonze, was reminiscent of Verdi’s “Maledizione” in Rigoletto.

Conducted by Daniel Oren, the Symphony Orchestra Rishon Lezion emphasized dramatic moments, significantly preceding them with short, tension-mounting silences.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

June 26, 2019
Brunch newcomers

By BUZZY GORDON

Cookie Settings