MET Opera: Madama Butterfly

In Italian with English subtitles

A perennial audience favourite, Pier Giorgio Morandi is on the podium for Anthony Minghella’s sweeping production. Leading soprano Hui He takes on the heartbreaking title role of the doomed geisha, with tenor Piero Pretti as the American naval officer who abandons her.

“Sopranist Hui He Leads An Outstanding Cast In Puccini Revival”

The opera takes place in the Japanese port city of Nagasaki at the turn of the last century, at a time of expanding American international presence. Japan was hesitantly defining its global role, and Nagasaki was one of the country’s few ports open to foreign ships. Temporary marriages for foreign sailors were not unusual.

Puccini achieved a new level of sophistication with his use of the orchestra in this score, with subtle colorings and sonorities throughout. But the opera rests squarely on the performer of the title role: On stage for most of the time, Cio-Cio-San is the only character that experiences true (and tragic) development. The singer must convey an astounding array of emotions and characteristics, from ethereal to fleshly to intelligent to dreamy-bordering-on-insane, to resigned in the final scene.

USA 2019, 210 min incl two intermissions, PG
Conducted by Pier Giorgio Morandi
Set Design/Director: Anthony Minghella
Starring Hui He, Piero Pretti, Elizabeth DeShong & Paulo Szot

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