Semper Essenz: Madama Butterfly

Highlights from Giacomo Puccini’s opera in concert

Performed in Italian with German and English supertitles


No coming shows this season.

The young geisha Cio-Cio-San, known as »Butterfly«, forms the emotional heart of Giacomo Puccini’s tragedia giapponese, set in Nagasaki at the beginning of the 20th century. The US-American naval lieutenant Pinkerton marries Cio-Cio-San, intending to divorce her shortly after, a fairly common practice in Japan at the time. He rents a suitable cottage for his stay in the city. For Pinkerton the liaison is just an erotic flirtation. Cio-Cio-San, on the other hand, sees the American not merely as a means to escaping poverty, but as the love of her life ... First performed at Milan’s La Scala in 1904, »Madama Butterfly« still touches our hearts today. We are shaken by the realism with which Puccini depicts the cultural misunderstandings and deadly consequences of this tragic love story.

This concert performance of »Madama Butterfly«, conducted by Ottavio Dantone and featuring Hrachuhí Bassénz as Cio-Cio-san and Jonathan Tetelman as B. F. Pinkerton, takes the audiences on a condensed tour through the Japanese-American story an ill-fated love affair. Beginning with the love duet »Vogliatemi bene, un bene piccolino«, continuing with Cio-Cio-san’s achingly beautiful »Un bel dì, vedremo« and ending with B. F. Pinkerton’s desperate and painful »Addio fiorito asil« and Cio-Cio-san’s farewell to her child and life itself, »Con onor muore ... Tu? Tu? Piccolo iddio«, we can experience the full power of the tragic opera in concert.