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El exitoso desembarco de Cio-Cio-San en Nueva York

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lunes, 5 de septiembre de 2022
19th Century Music XLVI,1 © 2022 California University Press 19th Century Music XLVI,1 © 2022 California University Press
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Ditlev Rindom, Post Doctoral Fellow de la Academia Británica en King’s College London y colaborador de Mundoclasico.com, ha publicado un artículo en la prestigiosa revista 19th-Century Music con el título: Gramophone Voices: Puccini and Madama Butterfly in New York, ca. 1907

Enmarcado en su investigación sobre ópera, migraciones, sonido y tecnología a caballo entre los siglos XIX y XX, el artículo trata del éxito del estreno neoyorquino de la obra (que había fracasado en su estreno de 1904) en el contexto de la revolución sonora y de difusión que representó el gramófono en Estados Unidos. Nueva York había sido, no en vano, el lugar del estreno de la obra de teatro Madame Butterfly de David Belasco en la que se basa el libreto de la ópera de Puccini. 

Ditlev Rindom (Copenhague, 1984) es licenciado en Filología Inglesa por la Universidad de Oxford y completó su tesis doctoral titulada Bygone modernity: Re-imagining Italian opera in Milan, New York, and Buenos Aires, 1887-1914 en la Universidad de Cambridge. Aparte de sus publicaciones académicas en Cambridge Opera Journal y The Journal of the Royal Musical Association, ha sido colaborador de Opera Magazine y Mundoclasico.com 

Abstract de Gramophone Voices: Puccini and Madama Butterfly in New York, ca. 1907

Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (1904) was a notorious failure at its world premiere: condemned by Italian critics for its “decorative” surfaces and apparent repetition of earlier Puccinian tropes. The first of the composer’s two operas based on works by American playwright David Belasco, the opera was soon revised and received its belated New York Metropolitan Opera premiere in 1907 as part of a festival of the composer’s works organized in his presence. The decision to visit New York was timely: not only had Belasco’s source play been premiered there in 1900, but New York was by then emerging as the global center of the operatic gramophone industry, with recordings of Puccini’s works made in Camden, New Jersey, frequently featuring performers from the Metropolitan Opera. This development echoed wider operatic power shifts between Italy and the United States at this time, which informed evolving attitudes to new sound reproduction technology on both sides of the Atlantic.
This article re-examines Madama Butterfly from the perspective of Puccini’s 1907 tour. In particular, it focuses on the composer’s interactions with the U.S. gramophone industry during and before his New York visit, examining them in relation to broader questions of the Italian operatic future and ideas of Italian vocality. While Madama Butterfly has long been addressed in relation to its Orientalist depiction of Japan, reframing Puccini’s Belasco-inspired opera within this transatlantic context can illuminate the fraught cultural politics of the gramophone industry, as well as their intersection with the wider musical dramaturgy of Puccini’s opera. Ultimately, I argue, Madama Butterfly emerges as a vital document of a changing auditory culture ca. 1900, as well as of an ambivalent colonial imagination.
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