mardi, avril 26, 2005

Opera - Madame Butterfly

I went to watch an opera last month. It was the famous Madame Butterfly. As a "mountain tortoise", I had only a very vague idea of an opera. As it was performed by the London City Opera, I thought I had a good chance to understand it. How wrong was I.

The story of Madame Butterfly is simple. In fact, Miss Saigon is an adaptation as a muscial but happening during the Vietnam war. Madame Butterfly was about an American who came to Japan and got a "part-time" wife, Madame Butterfly. When Pinkerton left for US, Madame Butterfly was pregnant. She waited for the return of her husband and when he finally did, he brought along his wife. His wife knew that Madame Butterfly had born her husband a son and she wanted the baby. In the end, Madame Butterfly commited seppuku out of sadness.

All the dialogues were sang in a high-pitched tone and in Italian. The performers must have a lot of practices in order to reach this level of singing without panting. And to my surprise, the character Madame Butterfly was played by a Singaporean. Her name is Yee Er Ping and apparently, she had received the 2001 Young Artist Award from the National Arts Council.

The audiences were mostly french and the opera was in Italian. Okay, someone told me after that all operas are in Italian. Is it interesting? Well, for me, I did not understand a thing that was sung. I mean if I were to understand Italian, I am not sure if I could have understood the singing. :)

I don't think I will watch any opera in the near future. If I can recommend something foreign to you, go and watch the movie "Vas, vis et deviens" (Go, live and become). It is really a good film done by France/Israel.

This film is about an African boy from a refugee camp in Sudan. In 1985, Israel decided to save some of the Africans Jews. This boy was not a Jew but his mother made him leave with an African Jew who had recently lost her son. The boy settled in Jerusalem but had a diffcult time to intergrate and keeping the secret that he was not a Jew. This is not based on a true story but on a true event that had happened. So, I think there may be many stories that is similar to this one. Africa is one part of the world that people do not talk about so much nor do people react to the poor Africans who are still suffering there.

To Eternal Sunshine,
Thanks for your concern about my leg.
It is well now. Think it was caused by my heels and the uneven pavement in Paris. ;)

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