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Madama Butterfly

Music Giacomo Puccini → Tragedia giapponese

Tragedia giapponese

Cast 12.10.2019

Conductor Jonathan Darlington
Director Josef Gielen
Set and costume design Tsugouharu Foujita
Cio-cio-san, genannt Butterfly Kristīne Opolais
B.F.Pinkerton Ivan Magrì
Sharpless Paolo Rumetz
Suzuki Monika Bohinec
Kate Pinkerton Lydia Rathkolb
Goro Herwig Pecoraro
Yamadori Hans Peter Kammerer
Onkel Bonze Alexandru Moisiuc
kaiserlicher Kommissär Igor Onishchenko


Act 1
A Lieutnant of the US Navy, Pinkerton by name, is having a look at a house near Nagasaki which he hopes to rent from his owner, Goro, for his honeymoon with Cho-Cho-San whom, as was then the custom, he is thinking of making his temporary wife while in Japan. Nothing that Suzuki, Cho-cho-San's maid, and Goro tell him about her will induce him to change his mind, and the warning of the US Consul, Sharpless, falls on equally deaf ears. They drink a toast, but what Pinkerton drinks to is America and his ties with home. Cho-cho-San and her friends appear, and during preparations for the wedding she tells of her life and family and her conversion to her future husband's religion. This occasions a dramatic incident after the ceremony when her uncle, a Buddhist priest, curses Cho-cho-San ("Butterfly") is prepared to make even greater sacrifices to please her husband. As night falls and the guests depart, Pinkerton begins to realize ow much Butterfly is prepared to give up for him. 

Act 2
Butterfly, now the mother of a son, has been waiting three years for her husband's return. She keeps thinking she sees his ship, but even Suzuki has to face the thankless task of telling Butterfly that Pinkerton has got married in America, so she is now free, but before he does so Goro, who had found out about Pinkerton's marriage some time before, introduces her to the wealthy Yamadori as a possible husband, thinking that Sharpless has already explained the position to her, Not unnaturally Butterfly indignantly rejects the proposal. But Goro has news for Sharpless: Pinkerton's ship has been sighted. Butterfly is so overjoyed that Sharpless has not the heart to tell her of Pinkerton's American marriage. Butterfly decorates the house for her husband's return and sits up all night waiting for him.

Act 3
As dawn breaks Cho-Cho-San can keep awake no longer, and when Pinkerton arrives with the Consul it is Suzuki who receives him. Pinkerton is deeply moved by Suzuki's description of Butterfly's devoted vigil, but even as she speaks Suzuki can see in the garden Pinkerton's American wife. Unable to face the situation and full of remorse Pinkerton withdraws. Butterfly is now quite calm. She accepts her father's offer to care for the child and after bidding her son a tender farewell stabs herself with her father's knife.