Tag this
Help others find this by tagging it.

It's beautiful, but this Royal Opera House performance of Puccini's opera misses out on the big picture

Despite hummable tunes, heart-stopping arias and a timeless story of love betrayed, Puccini's opera is a far from obvious choice for cinema treatment, let alone in 3D. The chorus appears in one scene only, the drama is all inward, and takes place – at least in this Moshe Leiser/Patrice Caurier Royal Opera House version – in a single, elegantly spare set. This production is blessed with great singers who are also powerful actors: James Valenti brings a swagger to the role of Pinkerton, and Liping Zhang sounds and looks ravishing as Butterfly. The story is told straightforwardly, the closeup filming allows details to emerge vividly. And yet I wished for a wider view every so often, to allow us to hear more of the orchestral colours and remember that we're watching a live event staged for a huge opera house. The intensity and excitement of the live experience are missing, and this doesn't grip like it should: however much you marvel at its beauty, this Butterfly feels trapped, under glass.

Rating: 3/5

Imogen Tilden
guardian.co.uk © 2012 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

5 years ago | | Read Full Story
Classical Music Tags
Click fields to tag this News Story
Tagging makes it easy for you and others to find Classical Music on InstantEncore.
Current tags
No categories set