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Puccini Madama Butterfly

From 15 March TO 24 March 2022
Staatsoper - Hamburg
Program

Puccini : Madama Butterfly 130 mn

Cast
  • Conductor
    Paolo Carignani
  • Director
    Vincent Boussard
  • Performers
    Cio-Cio San: Ermonela Jaho
    Pinkerton: Pavel Cernoch
    Suzuki: Kristina Stanek
    Sharpless: Ambrogio Maestri
    Goro: Peter Hoare
    Bonzo: Tigran Martirossian
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Staatsoper - Hamburg Location Grosse Theaterstrasse 25 - 20354 Hamburg Allemagne

During their frequent journeys to Venice, the merchants of Hamburg had many a chance to note the success of Europe's first public opera, opened in 1637. In 1678, some of these rich bourgeois thus founded, on the Geese Market, a permanent opera. It was the first in Germany, a fact of which the Hamburgers were very proud. Driven by a strong sense of nationalism that preferred to blatently ignore French and Italian opera, as well as a shrewd business acumen, Hamburg's Opern-Theatrum specialized in defending the German lyrical repertoire, ins-pite of the clergy's prostests and heated debates that reached as far as the University of Iena. One could listen to the works of composers such as Telemann and Handel; the latter was hired as a violinist and harpsichord player by the Opera at the age of 18. A few years later, the same Handel became the talk of the town, when he fought a duel with Johann Mattheson, a rival composer. In 1738, the hall went bankrupt, ruined by the public's renewed interest in Italian opera. A new building was constructed in 1765, billing both theatre and lyrical works.

 

It was not before 1827 that the location of the actual Staatsoper became that of an opera house. At first, the German Weber, the Italian Rossini, and the Frenchman Auber shared the billing, before Wagner and Verdi (performed here as of 1845, for the first time in Germany) became the house's undisputed stars. Gustav Mahler was appointed at the Opera's head in 1891. Under his direction, the opera freshened up its rather conventional programming (and became equipped with electricity). Mahler hired the young Bruno Walter as coach, before another of his proteges, Otto Klemperer, took over the musical direction of the institution in 1910.

 

Greatly affected by the financial crisis that followed the First World War, and partially destroyed during the Second, the Opera opened in 1946 with difficulty, performing in front of 600 spectators seated around what remained of the stage. But the company, that included names such as Hans Hotter, Martha Modi, Hermann Prey, Elisabeth Grümmer, and Astrid Varnay, rapidely acquired an international reputation. Settled in the newly reconstructed opera house in 1955 and led by such brilliant managers as Rolf Liebermann (1959-1973, he returned in 1985), the Staatsoper became a Mecca of contemporary opera, welcoming composers such as Stravinsky, who came to conduct to celebrate his eightieth birthday, Penderecki, Messiaen, Kagel, Xenakis, and Helmut Lachenmann.

Staatsoper

The seating plan is given as an indication and has no contractual value.
The division of categories may differ depending on shows and dates.

Synopsis

Madama Butterfly

An opera in three parts by Giacomo Puccini, Madame Butterfly is a favourite with music lovers all over the world. Based on John Luther Long's short story, Madame Butterfly tells the tale of Ciocio-San, a 15 year old Japanese girl who becomes the bride of convenience of an American naval officer. Puccini first wrote the opera in two acts and it was premiered at the famous La Scala in Milan where it was not a success. He rewrote Madame Butterflyfive times in all, and the 'standard version' of this tragic story is the one that is most often seen today, though occasionally the successful second version from 1904 is performed.

HISTORY
Nagasaki 1904
The story of an innocent young Japanese girl who is taken as a bride by Pinkerton, an American naval officer. Thinking that Pinkerton will take her with him to America she falls in love with him. Pinkerton leaves without her but returns to Japan and tracks her down several years later. Butterfly has secretly given birth to his son and Pinkerton's wife Kate agrees to raise the child. Butterfly is distraught. On seeing how much care she has put into decorating the house for his return Pinkerton admits he has made a mistake and rushes to Butterfly. However he is too late, Butterfly has killed herself. 

Act 1
Pinkerton, an American naval officer arrives in Japan and buys a small house in Nagasaki for 999 years with the right to cancel the agreement monthly. With the help of marriage broker Goro he is wed to Ciocio-San, 'Butterfly' in Japanese. It is a marriage of convenience as he fully intends to find an American wife as divorce in Japan is simple. Butterfly has secretly converted to Christianity, believing herself to be truly married. Her uncle doesn't approve and comes to the house and curses the newlyweds. Butterfly and Pinkerton prepare for their first night of marriage.

Act 2
It is three years later. Butterfly is still in Japan waiting for Pinkerton to return to her even though her maid Suzuki tells her that he will not, and even though Goro the marriage broker is trying to get her to remarry. Sharpless, a US Consul comes to the house with a letter from Pinkerton saying that he is returning to Japan. Before he can finish telling Butterfly the contents of the letter she becomes excited and tells him that she had a son by Pinkerton after his departure from Japan. While Suzuki and and the child sleep, Butterfly stays up all night, watching as Pinkerton's ship arrives. 

Act 3
Pinkerton arrives at the house with Sharpless and his new American wife Kate, who has agreed to raise the child. Butterfly runs out in distress, though when Pinkerton sees the care she has taken in preparing for his return he realises the terrible mistake he has made. Butterfly agrees to allow Pinkerton and Kate to raise her child on the condition that Pinkerton comes alone to the house to see her. When he arrives she blindfolds him and places an American flag in his hand before going behind a screen. She then commits hara-kiri using her father's knife. Pinkerton runs in but he is too late.

MAIN ROLES
Ciocio-San (Butterfly) - soprano
Her maid Suzuki - mezzo-soprano
Pinkerton - an officer (Lieutenant) in U.S.Navy -tenor
Sharpless - US Consul in Nagasaki - baritone
Goro - marriage broker - tenor
The Bonze - uncle of Ciocio-San - bass

Staatsoper

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