• The Death of Tamaki Miura: Performing Madama Butterfly during the Allied Occupation of Japan

    Author(s):
    Kunio Hara (see profile)
    Date:
    2017
    Group(s):
    American Musicological Society – Global East Asian Music Research (Study Group)
    Subject(s):
    Death, Japanese music, Opera, Performance, Radio
    Item Type:
    Article
    Permanent URL:
    https://doi.org/10.17613/px11-vk55
    Abstract:
    Although Japanese soprano Tamaki Miura attempted to revive her career shortly after the conclusion of World War II, it was not until her recital on 21 March 1946, in which it became apparent that she was severely ill, that the Japanese media began to pay close attention to her activities. In an attempt to capture the sound of the once world-famous soprano, Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) arranged three recording sessions with Miura in April, which included an excerpted performance of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly. From then to several months immediately following her death on May 26, multiple newspapers printed articles of various lengths recounting her battles with illness and, after her passing, commemorating her career. At least three recurring patterns are observable in these and other texts that deal with Miura’s final days: the repeated identification of Miura with the fictional character of Cio-Cio-San, the obsessive attention paid to Miura’s failing body and voice, and the use of Miura’s unflattering demise as a metaphor of Japan in the aftermath of the war.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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