The live streaming from the Metropolitan Opera House on Saturday 9th November at the Vue cinema in Plymouth was a production by the late Anthony Minghella.
It was quite an exciting start as we were told the understudy had taken over the part of Pinkerton. He had 2 days to step into the part, and it was his debut Met. production.
The child was a puppet, and it took 3 puppeteers to work him. I found it quite strange to see a puppet in this way.
The opera was in 3 acts. The geisha called Butterfly was only 15 years old. They have an arranged marriage; Pinkerton only wants to enjoy himself and Butterfly takes their marriage seriously.
The second act starts with a 3 year gap as Pinkerton has sailed away and left Butterfly in their home. A rich Japanese prince wants to marry Butterfly, but she is waiting for Pinkerton to return.
Sharpless, the American consul, should have been sung by Placido Domingo, however it seems he is not visiting the US due to certain accusations.
Sharpless tries to tell Butterfly that Pinkerton has returned with an American wife. Butterfly shows Sharpless her son. Trouble is ahead as the ship docks in the harbour.
Act 3 begins with Butterfly still waiting for Pinkerton to arrive. She meets Pinkerton and his wife and decides to give her son to Pinkerton. She decides to kill herself rather than live without Pinkerton.
The stage set was very modern with moving Japanese paper screens. Vue cinema has had a complete makeover with reclining seats. This was an enjoyable performance and we had a relaxing time watching this long opera.