Wednesday I went to the Met's "Encore" showing of Minghella's super-stylized production of Butterfly
. I'd skipped the original showing because it had looked too gimmicky for my taste, especially the use of a puppet instead of a child to play Butterfly's son (called both Worry and Sorrow in the subtitles). But that puppet was incredibly effective; its final scenes were heartbreaking. Butterfly
is a four-hankie opera anyway, but it got a lot of emotional help from the design. The sliding doors and uncluttered spaces on the stage under a reflecting ceiling concentrated attention on the people on the stage, even when one of them was made of plastic. With Patricia Racette (who was wonderful):
And Pinkerton (Marcello Giordani) was booed.