PALEY CENTER FOR MEDIA, THE: INSIDE MEDIA: MADAME BUTTERFLY: SCREENING AND CONVERSATION {LONG VERSION ANAMORPHIC}

Summary

One in a series of evenings and special screenings presented as part of The Paley Center for Media's Inside Media events. Held at the Paley Center in New York, this evening celebrates the 1955 NBC Opera Theatre version of "Madam Butterfly," an English-language translation of the opera by Giacomo Puccini. Host Rebecca Paller (curator, The Paley Center for Media) offers opening remarks and then introduces the production, which is screened in its entirety. (For synopsis and credits, see ACCNUM 106165.)

After the screening, moderator Eric Meyers (critic, Opera News) takes the stage with star Elaine Malbin (Cio-cio-San/Madame Butterfly). The conversation touches on such topics as: the show as a live recording, and Malbin's use of Constantin Stanislavski's techniques to get into character; Kirk Browning's "subtle" direction and her unawareness of the cameras and microphones; the challenges of the "voice-killer" role; her involvement with the NBC Opera touring company and many repeat performances; her vocal teacher William Herman and her admiration of famed soprano Maria Callas, who also performed in "Butterfly"; a memorable fan letter from Bing Crosby; recoding the opera's love duet with Mario Lanza; and praise for her musical colleagues present in the audience, including Elinor Ross and Nedda Casei.

Questions from the audience then lead to a discussion of the following topics: the six-week rehearsal process and lack of understudies; the process of learning the opera in English and Malbin's primary focus on characterization; her difficult and restrictive costume; praise for her co-stars and their later careers; her well-reviewed work in the opera "The Cloak"; and her decision to retire from singing after the birth of her children.


Details

  • NETWORK:
  • DATE: May 19, 2012 2:00 PM
  • RUNNING TIME: 2:38:29
  • COLOR/B&W: Color
  • CATALOG ID: 107542
  • GENRE: Seminars
  • SUBJECT HEADING:
  • SERIES RUN:
  • COMMERCIALS:

Credits

  • Rebecca Paller … Host
  • Eric Meyers … Moderator
  • Elaine Malbin … Guest
  • Kirk Browning
  • Maria Callas
  • Nedda Casei
  • Bing Crosby
  • William Herman
  • Mario Lanza
  • Elinor Ross
  • Constantin Stanislavski