Puccini’s verismo opera Madame Butterfly opens in Sydne this week with Hiromi Omura singing the title role, James Egglestone as Pinkerton and Michael Lewsi as Sharpless and Domenica Matthews as Suzuki. Ryusuke Numajiri will conduct the production, which premiered at La Scala in February 1904.
Fascinated by the orient, Puccini researched his material meticulously, speaking to Japanese artists, transcribing melodies from records sent from Tokyo and studying Japanese songs. He integrated authentic themes and harmonies into his score, complemented by his orchestration which included a tam-tam, Japanese bells glockenspiel and tubular bells.
You can see Madame Butterfly on selected dates in the Opera Theatre of the Sydney Opera House from September 25th 2012 to 1st November 2012.