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Madame Butterfly


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Okay. This is a movie site, right? And this is a movie. And WHAT a movie.


About ten years ago I got my Netflix account, after my husband died. It was winter in Maine, the B&B was closed, and I was just killing time until spring came and the tourist season began. I hadn't seen a lot of foreign films, and wanted to catch up with them. I'd lived in England and Japan for a while so those were pretty much under control. I went through the Italians, and then I came to the French. I thought as long as I was catching up on things I might as well look into whatever there was in opera. I wasn't that big a fan, but like everybody I liked the Toreador song from Carmen and the other familiar bits of the old warhorse operas. Then I came across Madame Butterfly, and realized I'd never seen the whole thing; didn't even know the story. I ordered it, and my whole life changed. I mean it. It really did.


This was a sensational picture. It was directed by Frederic Mitterand, and starred real opera singers, but he didn't stage it as an opera. It was just a beautiful story, gorgeously presented. When it came out, Siskel and Ebert gave it two thumbs up as a movie, not as an opera movie. They both loved it. The cast was perfect, the settings were lovely, and everything in it was done to perfection.


I wrote to the cast; Richard Troxell answered through his publicity assistant, and over time we became good friends. I saw him perform live many times in various places, the last time in Honolulu, last fall. My family loves him as well, and we traveled to see him whenever we could.


Do yourself a favor. Get hold of the movie. It's the first one you'll come to when you do a search at Amazon or Netflix itself. I can't make you get it, but if you don't you're missing a wonderful experience. You'll know what's happening. It's got nice subtitles. Here's a little of it to give you an idea. This is the love duet, which is the sexiest music in opera.


If you can't stand opera, fine. But if you don't KNOW if you can stand it, give it a chance.





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