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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

The Met: Live revives Puccini’s ‘Madame Butterfly’

When the great Italian composer Giacomo Puccini debuted his opera "Madame Butterfly" on the night of Feb. 17, 1904, the critics weren't too impressed. Puccini made some changes and by the time the opera was restaged the following May the critics had changed their, uh, tune.

It's been more than a century, but Puccini's work is still being staged. And thanks to the The Met: Live series, "Madame Butterfly" will be shown in two area Regal Cinemas theaters, at Northtown Mall and Coeur d'Alene's Riverstone Stadium. The performance will play at 9:55 a.m. on Saturday, at Northtown only at 1 and 6:30 p.m. Nov. 13 and at both locations at 1 p.m. Nov. 16.

Staged originally by the late film director Anthony Minghella, the opera features soprano Hui He in the title role. Pier Giorgio Morandi conducts a cast that includes Andrea Carè as Pinkerton and mezzo-soprano Elizabeth DeShong as Suzuki.

As critic Seth Colter Walls wrote of He's performance in the New York Times, "during more intimate passages, she pulled the night together by delivering a Cio-Cio-San full of subtle yet fascinating changes. Some darkly rich tones provided dramatic dimension for her first-act work before a brighter, brassier sound underlined the character’s hopeful delusions in the second act."

Puccini's work lives on.