Victoria De Los Angeles (Butterfly), Guiseppe Di Stefano (B.F Pinkerton), Anna Maria Canali (Suzuki), Tito Gobbi (Sharpless), Renato Ercolani (Goro/Yamadori), Maria Huder (Kate Pinkerton), Bruno Sbalchiero (Imperial Commissioner) & Arturo La Porta (Bonze)
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One of the best-loved of all operas, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly was given its premiere at La Scala Milan in 1904, where it received a terrible reception. The chemistry of the collaborators should have ensured success - the librettists Luigi Illica and Guiseppe Giacosa had worked with the composer on La bohème and Tosca. Puccini withdrew the work and revised it thoroughly. When this version was presented to the public the adulation was extraordinary, and the work has been a central part of the operatic repertoire ever since. The story is a highly emotional one - of cynical colonial exploitation, blind love and infidelity, a potent mix fuelled by Puccini’s high-octane score.
The aria ‘Un bel di’ (One fine day) is the high point of the work where Butterfly, living in poverty with Pinkerton’s child and her maid Suzuki sings of her confidence that her handsome US Navy captain will return to her. He does eventually return, but not for Butterfly, with tragic consequences.
E soffitto... e pareti (Pinkerton/Goro)
Questa è la cameriera (Goro/Pinkerton/Suzuki/Sharpless)
Dovunque al mondo (Pinkerton/Sharpless/Goro)
Quale smania vi prende! (Sharpless/Pinkerton/Goro)
Ah! ah! quanto cielo!... Ancora un passo or via (Coro/Butterfly/Sharpless)
Gran ventura (Butterfly/Coro/Pinkerton/Sharpless/Goro)