show category: opera
Coproduction: Fondazione ,,Pergolesi Spontini”, under the High Patronage of the Embassy of Italy in Romania
Opera in three acts, libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica, after David Belasco, John Luther Long and Pierre Loti
Recommanded age: 9+
While in London, in the year of 1900, to supervise the setting of his recent successful opera – Tosca – at Covent Garden, Giacomo Puccini was deeply moved by the representation of Madama Butterfly, the play signed by David Belasco (1853-1931). The topic of the unfortunate love story of a young Japanese girl who gives up her family, culture and religion for the American officer B. F. Pinkerton and who, after a long period of awaiting for her lover to return, commits suicide, was the exact plot that the composer had wanted. Puccini has dedicated the following two years to composing Madama Butterfly, a period when he thoroughly studied the Japanese music and traditions. The results can easily be observed in the written music, which has authentic Japanese melodies, as well as fragments from the American national anthem.
Even if Puccini was very thorough and precise when he wrote the opera, its first performance in 1904, at Teatro alla Scala di Milano, was received unfavourably, a fact which convinced Puccini to withdraw the work from the repertoire, and revise it. The new and musically improved Madama Butterfly, which was first brought to the spotlight in Brescia, the following May, was succesful and the improvements that he made in the next two years (1905 and 1906) offered an opera that gained a popularity compared to La bohème (1896).
The performance has two breaks and lasts for approximately 2 hours 45 min.