East meets west with devastating effect in Moshe Leiser and Patrice Caurier’s production of Giacomo Puccini’s poignant opera Madama Butterfly.
It tells the story of Cio-Cio-San, the young Japanese bride of dashing American officer Lieutenant Pinkerton, who finds her romantic idyll shattered when he deserts her shortly after their marriage. She lives in hope that one day he will return.
After seeing the play in London in 1990, Puccini was entranced by David Belasco’s Madame Butterfly, which is based on a popular short story by John Luther Long.
Harnessing the talents of librettists Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, with whom Puccini had created La Bohème and Tosca, he adapted the tragic tale into an opera.
Despite the 1904 premiere at La Scala in Milan, the piece was poorly received, but later that same year Puccini revised and restaged the opera in Brescia where it received great acclaim.
Popular with performers and audiences alike, Madama Butterly remains one of Puccini’s most performed works.
Leiser and Caurier’s production features elegant oriental sets and costumes that are inspired by the romantic exoticism of 19th century European images of Japan.
Madama Butterfly is sung in Italian with English surtitles.
Learn more about London operas within the West End.