Opera in three acts by Giacomo Puccini with a libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica, based on the drama of the same name by David Belasco
Sung in Italian, with subtitles in Spanish
Recorded at the Teatro Real, Madrid, 2017

Production Teatro Real

Ermonela Jaho  Madama Butterfly (Cio-Cio-San)      
Enkelejda Shkosa  Suzuki
Marifé Nogales  Mrs. Kate Pinkerton                          
Jorge de León  B.F. Pinkerton                                    
Àngel Òdena  Sharpless                                             
Francisco Vas  Goro                                                     
Tomeu Bibiloni  Prince Yamadori                         
Fernando Radó  The Bonze                                         

Teatro Real Orchestra and Choir

Conductor Marco Armiliato
Stage director Mario Gas

2.25 h (w/intermission)
photo ©Javier del Real

Temporary wives were very common in Japan at the end of the 19th century. In the mid-1800’s, the West, led by the United States, had established diplomatic and commercial relations with the country, and the fascination with the home of the geishas had spread like gunpowder. In this line, the character of Butterfly is a crude embodiment of the conflict between two irreconcilable civilizations, one of which subjugates the other. A man of very fine theatrical instinct, Puccini masterly portrays the fragility of a geisha in love, who naively believes she is reciprocated by a handsome officer of the United States Navy, in a score which evokes conveniently harmonized traditional Japanese melodies. The fiasco of Madame Butterfly’s premiere in Milan did not make the composer desist from his determination to go ahead with what he believed to be his most sincere and expressive work. Time would end up proving him right. Mario Gas places the story on a film set in the 30s and proposes three simultaneous perspectives through which to experience this moving drama: the opera itself, the filming of the opera and its reproduction in black and white on a huge screen.

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