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Opera, July 2019

PUCCINI, G.: Madama Butterfly [Opera] (Royal Opera House, 2017) (NTSC) OA1268D
PUCCINI, G.: Madama Butterfly [Opera] (Royal Opera House, 2017) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7244D

The show centres on a remarkable performance by Ermonela Jaho, whose strongly flavoured soprano is the foundation of a searching examination of the title role that is artful yet impassioned, and equally encompasses delicacy within its considerable variety of tone. © 2019 Opera

James A. Altena
Fanfare, May 2019

Antonio Pappano on the podium with his intimate knowledge and sympathetic understanding of every penstroke in Puccini’s score, and the orchestra and chorus respond fully to his inspired leadership.

…She [Jaho] has an attractive, crystalline lyric soprano voice that is securely produced and she sings with clear commitment. … As Pinkerton, Puente has a dark, baritonal timbre rather similar to that of Jonas Kaufmann in his lower and middle registers, but with a brighter top. © 2019 Fanfare Read complete review

Robert Cummings
MusicWeb International, February 2019

It seems that most successful opera productions have at least one outstanding lead singer who distinguishes the effort from estimable or from merely competent performances. That is the case here as Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho turns in an outstanding performance to make this a very special Madama Butterfly. Ms. Jaho comes across more than any other singer on video that I’m aware of as a very vulnerable, very fragile Cio-Cio-San.

…Elizabeth DeShong makes a fine Suzuki. Her Act II Flower Duet (Tutti i fior) is radiant, even alongside Jaho who sings beautifully here as well. DeShong’s acting abilities are especially fine too, and you so often notice them when she is not singing, only reacting with facial expressions and gestures. The rest of the cast perform reasonably well, with Carlo Bosi’s Goro a notable success. …Antonio Pappano is one of the better Puccini conductors before the public today. He seems always aware of the emotional flow of the music, phrasing it to heighten its drama and beauty, selecting the right tempo, never sabotaging its linear movement with ill-judged rubato, and in the end drawing excellent playing from the ROH Orchestra and fine singing from the chorus.

…this new Opus Arte effort from Covent Garden is my current choice for this opera on video.  …the performance by Ms. Jaho and contribution by Pappano and company elevate this effort to the status of outstanding. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Roy Westbrook
MusicWeb International, January 2019

This is a fine film of an excellent performance of Madama Butterfly. The production was new in 2003 but it is conducted here for the first time by Covent Garden’s Music Director, Antonio Pappano, with a strong cast.

…Beautifully captured on this superb Blu-ray disc and with compelling surround sound. © 2019 MusicWeb International Read complete review

Mark Pullinger
Gramophone, December 2018

PUCCINI, G.: Madama Butterfly [Opera] (Royal Opera House, 2017) (NTSC) OA1268D 
PUCCINI, G.: Madama Butterfly [Opera] (Royal Opera House, 2017) (Blu-ray, HD) OABD7244D

Jaho’s vocal performance is touching. Hers is not a sumptuous soprano, glossing Puccini’s rich lyric lines, but the colours she brings to her portrayal are astonishing, scaling ‘Un bel dì’ down to the merest thread.

Pappano—arguably today’s greatest Puccinian conductor—draws ardent playing from the ROH Orchestra, superbly detailed in its commentaries. © 2018 Gramophone Read complete review on Gramophone

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