Mark the date in your diary, put your phone on silent and grab the tissues. Puccini’s grand operatic masterpiece Madama Butterfly is on ABC TV.
Directed by Moffat Oxenbould and conducted by Giovanni Reggioli, this Opera Australia production features Japanese soprano Hiromi Omura in the title role with James Egglestone as Pinkerton and Sian Pendry as Suzuki.
The two act Tragedia giapponese premiered at La Scala in Milan in 1904. It tells of the 15 year old Cio-Cio San (Butterfly) who falls in love with the American Pinkerton only to realise that her naive trust in him was misplaced and Pinkerton leaves her for a more suitable wife. Through the narrative, Cio-Cio San grows from innocence to a harsh realisation of the truth which leads her to seek redemption for the honour of her family and her child.
In Madama Butterfly, Puccini demonstrates as much fascination with Japanese culture as Cio-Cio San does with American culture. The music is infused with Japanese idioms and harmonies. The love duet in Act 1 is one of the longest and most passionate that he composed.
A must see!