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Madama Butterfly Performed by Ukranian National Opera

Madama Butterfly Performed by Ukranian National Opera

Sun 24 Mar

Ukrainian National Opera®


Madama Butterfly – One of the most colourful & exotic operas 

Music by G. Puccini. Sung in Italian with English Surtitles

Performed by the Dnipro Opera, from Ukraine

Featuring an impressive cast and accompanied by a live Orchestra numbering over 30 musicians.

No opera can match the tragedy and sorrow of Puccini’s Madama Butterfly.

Set in Japan at the turn of the last century, it is the story of a doomed love affair between an American naval officer and his young Japanese bride whose self-sacrifice and defiance of her family leads to tragedy.

Though infinitely sad and tragic, the compelling tale of Madama Butterfly remained Puccini’s favourite opera – his supreme theatrical achievements also gave the world its most sublime and beautiful arias in history – One Fine Day and Love Duet, as well as the Humming Chorus which has been popular with opera-goers for over a century.

This touching tale of innocent love crushed between two utterly different cultures resonates as strongly as ever in today’s world.

“Always top-quality productions from this producer”. Stage Talk Magazine

Madama Butterfly – one of the most picturesque & exotic operas

In 1900 after seeing the David Belasco play in London Puccini became interested in John Luther Long’s original story of Madama Butterfly.

Long’s story was based on a real-life incident which took place around 1900, witnessed in Japan by his missionary sister, Sarah Jane (Jennie) Long Correll.

Puccini understood virtually nothing of the English text but, by the end of the performance, he was utterly captivated by the tragic female lead, Cio-Cio-San. He was immediately convinced that the piece would make a moving and powerful opera. However, although Puccini had decided on the subject, it was not until March 1901 that the rights were secured from the American playwright.

Puccini drew on his most passionate creativity to write this most romantic score for his vulnerable heroine, Cio-Cio-San, striving ceaselessly to intensify the lyrical and the dramatic quality of the opera.

But his confidence and pride were dealt a devastating blow at a disastrous first night in the famous opera theatre La Scala, Milan, in February 1904.

A group of agents provocateurs had been paid to jeer and catcall. They were hell-bent on disrupting the performance and so intimidated the audience that the finale was received in utter silence. A shocked Puccini withdrew the opera for revision.

Three months later the new version was premiered at Brescia where rapturous applause confirmed that Madama Butterfly had risen above its traumatic birth to become established as an international favourite – a tribute to both Puccini’s acute dramatic sense and the innate power and beauty of his music.

Madama Butterfly is rare among Puccini’s operas with its focus on one single central character throughout − and Puccini, Giacosa and Illica’s complex and sympathetic exploration of Butterfly’s character ensured the opera’s dramatic success. Butterfly’s profound capacity for love, her moments of playfulness, her dignity and courage, all make her a compelling, lovable protagonist and one who continues to fascinate. Madama Butterfly remained close to Puccini’s heart. He never tired of hearing it or of seeing it performed − a sentiment that modern audiences share.