A mostly lovely `Butterfly'

`Butterfly' flutters, but gets off the ground

Opera Review

May 12, 2008|By Tim Smith | Tim Smith,Sun Music Critic

Although famously booed, hissed and cat-called at its premiere in February 1904, Puccini's Madama Butterfly took wing by May - after the composer made some revisions - and has flown unimpeded ever since, unaffected by changing times or attitudes.

The ardent Italian lyricism of the score, inflected with touches of Japanese melody, continues to grip the ear and the heart. The cultural collision that starts the plot on its course still resonates in many ways (strange how such issues as Ugly Americanism and racial stereotyping never seem to go away), and the naive love-dreams that lead that plot toward its crushing conclusion still make for great theater.

If you go Madama Butterfly will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, 8:15 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m. Sunday at the Lyric Opera House, 110 W. Mount Royal Ave. $51 to $137. 410-727-6000, baltimoreopera.com.

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