Based on a short story by the otherwise obscure American writer John Luther Long, Madama Butterfly was premiered in 1904, the year within which it is set. As it opens, the U.S. officer Pinkerton rents a house for his new wife, Cio-Cio San or ‘Butterfly’. For the fifteen-year old Cio-Cio, it seems nothing less than unconditional love. But the opportunistic Pinkerton has other ideas and vanishes, leaving Cio-Cio to wait for his return. This is a simple, tragic story with universal applications, whose modernity is not concealed by its exoticism.
In 2011, Kristïne Opolais made her Royal Opera debut as one of three young sopranos alternating the role of Cio-Cio. Now, after sensational notices the first time round, she returns to take the lead for the entire run.
Giacomo Puccini is without a doubt the greatest late romantic Italian opera composer, and often considered the heir to Verdi. A master of orchestration, he fused Italian traditions with Germanic and French musical innovations. Puccini’s verismostyle, inspired by the naturalism of writers like Ibsen and Zola, rejects myth and history for realistic tales of everyday life. Madama Butterfly is just one of his masterpieces; it, La Bohème and Tosca are ranked within the six most performed operas in the world. They are amongst the most direct, accessible and emotive in the canon.
|What||ROH: Madama Butterfly|
|Where||Royal Opera House, Bow Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 9DD | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Covent Garden (underground)|
20 Mar 15 – 11 Apr 15, 7:30 PM
|Website||Click here to book via the Royal Opera House’s website|