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  • Watch: Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier on Madama Butterfly – 'It's a shocking but very important story to tell'

Watch: Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier on Madama Butterfly – 'It's a shocking but very important story to tell'

The directors on the power and insight offered in Puccini's iconic opera, which critiques cultural imperialism.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

23 December 2014 at 3.17pm | 1 Comment

'Madama Butterfly is a dark work, because not only is it the story of a young Japanese girl being abused, but it tells of a tragic situation that has been repeated so many times across the world', says co-director Patrice Caurier of one of Puccini's most famous operas.

The opera tells the story of Cio-Cio-San, the young Japanese bride of dashing American officer Lieutenant Pinkerton, who finds her romantic idyll shattered when he deserts her shortly after their marriage. She lives in hope that one day he will return.

'It's an incredibly strong story with incredible music', says his creative partner Moshe Leiser. 'It's about an American Imperialist view of a culture that they don't consider to be as valid as theirs – they're very clear that it's fine to be with a Japanese girl for a night or two, but they'll go back to America to get married to a legitimate, white, rich and respectable woman. It's a shocking but very important story to tell.

'What's amazing with Cio-Cio-San is the faith that she has put in Pinkerton's love. You can call that heroism, trust, naivety or silliness', says Moshe of one of opera's great tragic heroines, to be sung for six performances of this revival by Latvian soprano Kristīne Opolais. 'She's a fantastic singer and a wonderful performer. I'm sure she'll bring the audience to intelligent, emotional tears.'

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Madama Butterfly runs 20 March–25 April 2017. Tickets will be available soon.

By Chris Shipman (Head of Brand Engagement and Social Media)

23 December 2014 at 3.17pm

This article has been categorised Opera and tagged by Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier, interview, Madama Butterfly, Moshe Leiser, Patrice Caurier, Production

This article has 1 comment

  1. Consider Mascagni had composed Madama Butterfly. Mascagni composed Iris , an opera which is sadly neglected but I rate highly.Mascagni had he written Madama Butterfly would surely not have equalled Puccini.It is Puccini's music which makes Madama Butterfly so overwhelming and poweful.The location,
    Japan could have been anywhere but with Puccini's music this opera would have been just as great. Some twaddle above from ROH is mostly irrelevant !

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