27 March 2017 at 10.56am | 13 Comments
Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s Royal Opera production tells the story of a Japanese geisha named Cio-Cio-San (Butterfly), who agrees to marry dashing US Naval lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton. She believes that it is a marriage of love, but Pinkerton intends the marriage to only be a temporary arrangement.
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The cinema relay will be presented by TV and radio broadcaster Clemency Burton-Hill.
Puccini was entranced by David Belasco’s play Madame Butterfly (based on a popular short story by John Luther Long) when he saw it in London in 1900. He harnessed the talents of librettists Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa (with whom Puccini had created La bohème and Tosca) to adapt Cio-Cio-San’s tragic tale for the operatic stage.
Puccini drew on Japanese folk melodies for the score, one of his most evocative and atmospheric. In Act I, Cio-Cio-San expresses her radiant happiness in ‘Ancora un passo’, and the two lovers rapturously declare their love for each other in the passionate duet ‘Viene la sera’. In Act II the mood becomes increasingly strained, as in ‘Un bel dì vedremo’ when Cio-Cio-San longs for the ‘fine day’ when her husband will return to her.
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The romantic exoticism of 19th-century European images of Japan – an integral part of Madama Butterfly’s character as a piece – inspire co-directors Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s elegant production for The Royal Opera.
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Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho performs the role of Cio-Cio-San while Argentine tenor Marcelo Puente makes his Royal Opera debut as Pinkerton. The performance is conducted by Music Director of The Royal Opera Antonio Pappano.
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The production will be relayed live to cinemas around the world on 30 March 2017. Find your nearest cinema and sign up to our mailing list.