Experience the landmark 1983 production of Puccini's Madama Butterfly, presented in the beautiful open-air setting of the Arena di Verona and starring Raina Kabaivanska, Lorenzo Saccomani, and Nazzareno Antinori under the direction of Giulio Chazalettes and the baton of Maurizio Arena.
While the 1904 premiere at Milan's La Scala of Puccini's Madama Butterfly may have met with resistance from early critics, the opera has since become one of the most beloved works of the repertoire, adored by opera-lovers the world over. Puccini was inspired by David Belasco's eponymous play, which the composer saw in the summer of 1900 in London, a play itself inspired by American writer John Luther Long's short story. One of the greatest tragedies of 20th-century opera ensues...
Stage director Giulio Chazalettes' beautiful 1983 production features all the best aspects of live performances, from an extremely enthusiastic audience to the airy blending of the orchestra and singers' performances. The seasoned singers and accomplished local orchestra and chorus deliver touching and honest performances of Puccini's masterpiece.
The action takes place in Japan, in the bay of Nagasaki, around 1900. A young American naval officer named Pinkerton marries Cio-Cio San, a 15-year-old geisha who goes by the name of Madame Butterfly. Soon afterward, the officer leaves his young wife for the United States, leaving her with a promise to return. Butterfly refuses to believe that she has been abandoned, waiting faithfully for her husband to come back to her and giving birth to their son. After three years, Butterfly finally does receive news of Pinkerton, but of the worst kind: he has married an American woman, and never had any intention of returning to her.
Photo: © Zoë Dominic