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Madame Butterfly (Widescreen)

Ying Huang , Richard Troxell , Frédéric Mitterrand    NR (Not Rated)   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
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Product Description


Like the finest of film scores with its fluid beauty and succession of intensely romantic tunes, Puccini's opera Madame Butterfly has a surprisingly cinematic feel. In 1995 director Frederic Mitterand exploited this quality of the story, exposing a young woman's disillusionment against a backdrop of cultural chasms. Shot on location, with Tunisia doubling convincingly as a turn-of-the-century Nagasaki, this Butterfly shines with fragile beauty. The house becomes a brilliantly used set, at once airy and full of the scent of flowers and at the same time a cage for the trapped woman. Archive footage of bygone Nagasaki is used skillfully to underline the distance between the 15-year-old bride and Pinkerton.

Purists may prefer a more traditionally robust, stage-bound Butterfly, but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more visually heartbreaking interpretation. Chinese soprano Ying Huang doesn't rock the rafters with her vocal power; hers is a tender, delicately observed performance. Tenor Richard Troxell's self-seeking Pinkerton is well sung. Overall, this is a haunting cinematic treatment of an enduringly popular opera. --Piers Ford

Product Description

Madame Butterfly is the heartwrenching story of a beautiful young geisha who sacrifices her family, her religion and, ultimately, her life for her American husband. Butterfly is the young bride of Lieutenant Pinkerton, who buys Butterfly's love while stationed in Japan and with no intention of ever taking her home to America. Martin Scorsese presents this award-winning film based on the popular opera. 133 minutes. Cast:

Ying Huang: Cio-Cio-San
Richard Troxell: Pinkerton
Ning Liang: Suzuki
Richard Cowan: Sharpless
Jing Ma Fan: Goro
Christopheren Nòmura: Prince Yamadori
Constance Hauman: Kate Pinkerton

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Spectacular Production! Jan. 6 2013
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
From beginning to end, this Butterfly is enchanting and masterfully acted by young and most talented Yin Huang as well as the rest of the cast. Spectacular outside scenes enhance the enchantment while expert voices feed it. In my opinion, this production remains a must-have for every opera amateurs around the world. Several langage subtitle choices available.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous... Captivating... Sensitive March 4 2004
Fabulous filmed rendition of the opera! Beautiful visuals! But, most of all, I'm thrilled to have discovered Ying Huang who's performance is beautiful, sensitive, and her voice gorgeous (delicate, sweet yet masterful without that "Southerland screech" that so many sopranos have. The first time I watched it, I did so for days! :-)
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Is Cio Cio San an indigenous character? April 27 2004
A friend of me, who is an expert antropologist, said that the similitudes between the japanese women and the Nahuatl women from Mexico are so evident, that he theorizes that they have the same origin. Both Nahuatl and Japanese languages sound very similar. But the amazing thing about this wonderful opera is that the loving behaviour of Cio Cio San a.k.a. Madama Butterfly and the love and shy glances to his beloved, are the same that the nahuatl women take to their husbands. Is a mistery, which makes more captivating, this absolutely wonderful movie. Huang is a so tender, yet powerful Butterfly that makes you smile, cry and reflect at the same time. She deserves an Academy award for this splendid performance. And the director: Wonder how he finds that absolute perfection in directing a chinese woman to perform a lovely japanese girl? The orchestra is wonderful too. Troxell makes an easy going Pinkerton sound perfect. It's an easy gospel, but full of deep perfections.
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5.0 out of 5 stars très beau film d'opéra Jan. 12 2011
By cgv95
je suis très content d'avoir trouvé cet opéra de Puccini, dans la réalisation de Frédéric Mitterrand. Très heureux d'avoir trouvé ce produit - rare en France- sur AMAZON.ca. Produit arrivé rapidement et en état neuf, sous emballage d'origine.
Je recommande cet opéra, qui est une très belle histoire
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5.0 out of 5 stars Butterfly Oct. 24 2010
I have a number of productions of this opera - both video and audio, but this is, by far the best of the bunch. It is visually stunning and Puccini's music has never, in my opinion, been better performed. The second act is a doozy!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Puzzling choices March 10 2004
By A Customer
More and more directors are choosing to expose the musical fantasy that is opera to cinematic reality. In this Butterfly, that reality is compelling, except for some very puzzling and peculiar directorial choices. The most glaringly ridiculous of these is that Cio-Cio-San's uncle, the Bonze, an all too real character in the libretto, appears floating in the air. The grounded characters seem as perplexed by this as I was. Such silliness destroys the film's otherwise down-to-earth visual realism. BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Butterfly in a Cage Oct. 29 2003
Format:VHS Tape
"I am like the goddess of the moon,
the little goddess of the moon
who comes down by night on the bridge of the sky." ~Butterfly
I love this romantic escape into a fantasy world of dreamy opera and sometimes the singing can literally make you heady. I fell completely in love with this story after listening to a 1987 London recording from the library.
The story begins near Nagasaki, although this movie was filmed in Tunisia. A Japanese house, terrace and garden is situated on a hill overlooking the harbor. There is a sense of serenity and peace, but this does not fully represent the future.
Lieutenant Pinkerton (Richard Troxell) is selecting a home and Goro brings him into the house to show him all the benefits of the house. He in turn thinks the house is "as delicate as a puff of wind." Which could rather be used to describe his commitment to his new bride, Butterfly (Ying Huang). We can't quite figure out why this naval officer wants to buy a bride when he is just going to leave her trapped in a beautiful cage for three years.
Is this not the entire fantasy of the knight who rescues a woman and then puts her in a tower? Yet, here the knight and the maiden don't seem to share the same commitment to one another and when the knight leaves, he seems to forget to even send a note back to the maiden.
The love duets are magnificent and beyond compare. The world literally dissolves when you watch this movie. The letter scene gives you hope and yet the sheer tragedy of the situation reaches new levels when Butterfly tosses Sharpless out of the house due to his heartless comments about her accepting a proposal from Yamadori.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Exquisite Oct. 27 2003
I cannot imagine a better movie treatment of Madama Butterfly than this. In fact, it may be a long time before another one is attempted, simply because this is one tough act to follow. The setting, the costumes, and above all, the casting ... it is so obvious that everything in this production was planned and executed with tender loving care.
My teenage niece was captivated by this opera (after telling me she wouldn't like it!) She has since bought her own copy and it has opened up a whole new world for her.
This DVD never fails to give me goosebumps ... even when I just THINK about some of the scenes and arias!! It accomplishes the essential B and P of opera--Beauty and Passion--wonderfully. "Madama Butterfly" is one of my three favorite operas on DVD--the other two being "Otello" with Placido Domingo, and of course, Ingmar Bergman's "Magic Flute."
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