Madame Butterfly

Even those with only the skimpiest knowledge of opera will be familiar with Puccini's tragic love story between philandering American sailor Pinkerton and ill-fated Japanese siren Cio-Cio San, so it's disappointing Mitterand didn't take a more radical approach to the piece. What we get is a realist, meat-and-two-veg rendition in picture postcard Japanese settings. Even beginners would be better off seeing a live production.

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