Headshot of La Cieca

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B. F. deal

Tenors Bryan Hymel (pictured) and Joseph Calleja redeem otherwise routine Puccini revivals at the Met, says Our Own JJ in the New York Observer. (Photo: Ken Howard/Metropolitan Opera)

85 comments

  • stignanispawn says:

    On a slightly different topic, After reading an article in the Sunday Times last Fall about what happens to opera characters when the curtain comes down, I bought a copy of “The Heat of the Sun,” an account of Trouble’s life when Pinkerton brings him to America following Butterfly’s death.
    Is it a fabulous book? No. But it is a good read for these remaining cold January-February nights. There were lots of inexpensive copies on eBay and Abebooks. The single gentlemen to whom I gave it as part of an opera-related Christmas package liked it too.
    Also — if you have never read it — look for a copies of Robert Merrill’s trash-fest, The Divas, a roman a clef from the mid-1970′s featuring fictionalized versions of Kirsten, Moffo and Steber, among others. Think Valley of the Dolls, only opera, pure bliss!

    • DonCarloFanatic says:

      Amazon lists it for circa $100, which usually means it does not have a copy but somebody out there in used-book land will search for it for you for that price.

    • Will says:

      A less high wire act of narrative than Heat of the Sun is Butterfly’s Child, that tells a far more psychologically credible version of Trouble’s live in America and, eventually back in Japan with some big . . . . well I shouldn’t even hint. But it is very good reading.

  • arepo says:

    Shocking to see that I am inundated with like-minded “Trouble” puppet dissers. And here I thought I sat alone over in this corner.
    Go figure!
    For the life of me I could not dispel the puppeteers (albeit attired all in black in an attempt to blend in with the black staging), because I was so involved viewing their actions, that despite the fact that admittedly the puppet wasn’t onstage for the bulk of the opera, it succeeded in upstaging the portions when it was onstage, and its presence significantly watered down my emotional connection with the opera.
    Being that it is one of my top 6 favorite operas, I strongly require a real live boy AFTER Pinocchio becomes one, not before.

  • tatiana says:

    Well with all due respect to your right to your opinion, Clita, I disagree that this is a minor detail . . . The existence of the child is the plot point that takes this beyond a story of an abandoned young woman to another level of human drama and emotional intensity.
    If one likes the puppet device and the way it works, good for them. I think a case could be made that the child is actually a kind of pawn or “puppet” in the ultimate overall scheme of the drama. But it doesn’t work for me--or evidently, for several others here.