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Roberto Abbado © Yasuko Kageyama

Puccini Madama Butterfly

From 16 June TO 24 June 2023
Teatro dell'Opera - Roma
Program

Puccini : Madama Butterfly 130 mn

Cast
  • Conductor
    Roberto Abbado
  • Director
    Alex Ollé (La Fura dels Baus)
  • Performers
    Cio-Cio San: Eleonora Buratto
    Pinkerton: Dmytro Popov
    Suzuki: Anna Maria Chiuri
    Sharpless: Roberto Frontali
    Goro: Carlo Bosi
  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Teatro dell'Opera - Roma Location Piazza Beniamino Gigli, 7 - 00187 Roma Italie

  • Venue's Capacity: 1400

Even though there is proof that an opéra performance took place in Rome as early as 1606, (Agazzari's EUMELIO), the Pope's ban on théâtre and opéra performances was for many years an obstacle in the local development of opéra. In spite of the fact that a public opéra théâtre was inaugurated in 1697, no major composer was linked with the papal city until the opening of the présent opéra house in 1880. Opéra in Rome was far from inexistent during the nineteenth century: Rossini came to première his BARBER OF SEVILLE at the Teatro Argentina in 1816, and Verdi four of his works, including II TROVATORE (1853) and UN BALLO IN MASCHERA (1859) at the Teatro Apollo.

But in 1877, the city that had in the meantime become the capital of Italy was still without a modem opéra house. Domenico Costanzi, who had made a fortune in the hôtel business, had the good idea of bequeathing his name to the Eternal City by funding the construction of an opéra house, which was opened three years later. Roman operatic life was thus revived, and, from 1880 to 1926, the Teatro Costanzi hosted no less than 46 world premières and 120 Roman premières. Thèse premières, ail signed by Italian composers, included triumphant performances of Mascagni's CAVALLERIA RUSTICANA and Puccini's TOSCA. Furthermore, it was here that the Roman public discovered PARSIFAL in 1884, while Toscanini made his Roman début in the house's pit, conducting... CARMEN. In 1926. the théâtre fell into the hands of the fascist state, which renovated and modernized the building. When the house reopened two years later, rebaptized "Teatro Reale dell'Opera", the tradition of "national"premières was of course pursued, and one could hear composers such as Respighi and Malipiero, as weil as Stravinsky, Richard Strauss, and even Berg's WOZZECK in 1942. In 1937, the now famous open-air summer concerts were inaugurated in the Caracalla thermal baths.

In 1946, the institution adopted the name of Teatro dell'Opera and interna-tionalized its répertoire, while remaining faithful to contemporary music, as works by composers such as Britten, Honegger, Hindemith, Janâcek, and Henze were performed. It was also on this stage that Renata Tebaldi was applauded in 1948, and Maria Callas (in the rôle of Kundry in PARSIFAL!) in 1949. In spite offinancial difficulties, the house's artistic directors have, during these last few décades, deftly managed to keep alive the creativity and the luster of the Roman stage.

Teatro dell'Opera

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

Teatro dell'Opera © Silvia Lelli

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