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Teatro di San Carlo

Puccini Madama Butterfly

From 30 April TO 12 May 2021
Teatro di San Carlo - Napoli
Program

Puccini : Madama Butterfly 130 mn

Cast
  • Conductor
    Dan Ettinger
  • Director
    Ferzan Özpetek
  • Performers
    Cio-Cio San: Anna Pirozzi
    Pinkerton: Giorgio Berrugi
    Suzuki: Annalisa Stroppa
    Sharpless: Andrzej Filonczyk
    Goro: Saverio Fiore
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  • Venue Info
  • Seating Plan
  • Synopsis

Teatro di San Carlo - Napoli Location Via San Carlo, 98F - 80132 Napoli Italie

  • Venue's Capacity: 1386

The "San Carlo" is the world's oldest opera house still in activity. Right from the start, in 1737, people came from far and wide to admire the theatre's excellent 42-musician orchestra, and to applaud the castratos trained at the Naples Conservatory (like the famous Farinelli), as well as divas known by their nicknames, "la Parruchierrina," or "la Bastarella," for example. And the house in itself, with its sumptuous architecture and no less than six stories of boxes, was no minor attraction: Stendhal was enchanted by the hall's charm, and Paul Klee was fascinated by what he described as this "superb, heavy, and obscure theatre."

In 1816, fire burned down the theatre, and Ferdinand de Bourbon reconstructed an identical building with amazing speed, for Naples, robbed of its opera house, was plunged in mourning, and threatened to not support its sovereign. Let's not forget that at that time, the reign of Domenico Barbaja (nicknamed "The Prince of Impresarios" by Alexander Dumas) had already begun brilliantly. In 1815. this Milanese ex-cafe waiter, who is often credited with the invention of whipped-cream, had had the brilliant idea of hiring Gioacchino Rossini in person as the theatre's artistic director. This exceptional LUCIA DI LAMMERMOOR for the San Carlo), while launching, in 1826, a young composer called Vincenzo Bellini. The Neapolitan stage became the place where several singers' careers were made or broken; the famous French tenor Adolphe Nourrit, for example, who considered that the applause had not been sufficient, commited suicide after a performance at the San Carlo. The composer Saverio Mercadante then won the favours of the San Carlo's notorious audience, to such an extent that Verdi at first felt ill at ease in the theatre. Only to better triumph in 1872, when he organized an entire season, and had an orchestra pit added.

During the twentieth century, the stars of the Scala have sometimes overshadowed those of the San Carlo, an historic rivalry that has always existed, in a country where music lovers must choose sides. But the Neapolitan stage defends itself by ever enriching, even to this day, the world's largest repertoire of works ever premiered in an opera house, while legendary singers, such as Beniamino Gigli (who performed in the theatre from 1915 to 1953), have always remained exceptionally faithful to the San Carlo audience, which also happens to be one of the warmest anyone could imagine.

Teatro di San Carlo

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 di San Carlo

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