Madame Butterfly Waits

1988, 15 min, b&w and color, sound, German with English subtitles.

Themes of 19th century opera are reprised and enacted in silent movies and old postcards. The program begins with a contemporary executive reenacting the aria from Don Carlos ("She never loved me...") for his lover. He uses household props to stage the aria, he "air conducts," and the couple sings along to what is evidently a recording. Gruesome acts from five different operas (massacre, infanticide, revenge, execution, sexual exploitation and abandonment) are suggested by silent movie footage from two films framed like a backdrop within a window or theater, interspersed with two segments of a graphic color-ball and two male radio listeners.