Friday, February 17, 2012

 Madame Butterfly had its debut at La Scala in Milan today 1904. Listen to Maria Callas
Author: Giacomo Puccini 
Libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica
Première: 17th February 1904, Milan (Teatro alla Scala)
Madam Butterfly , Opera in 3 acts
Liutenent Pinkerton of the US Navy, has fallen in love with the 15 years old Butterfly (Cho-Cho san), a Japanese Geisha in Nagasaki. He marries her even if their marriage can end any time.
Pinkerton in fact goes back to the United States and Butterfly has heard nothing from him for three years but still waits patiently his return.
American Consul Sharpless visit her. He has received a letter from Pinkerton saying that he has married an American lady and is to visit Japan with his bride. Butterfly is shattered. In despair she shows Sharpless Pinkerton's son. No one was aware of the child's existence.
Cannon fire from the harbor announces the arrival of Pinkerton's ship. Despite everything Butterfly still hopes he will return to her. She hastly adorns her house with flowers, prepares to receive her lover, and sits up all night waiting from him. Next morning Butterfly is still waiting in vain for her beloved husband.
Hesitantly Pinkerton approaches Butterfly's house with the consul. But there is also a foreign lady, Pinkerton's new wife, who wants to adopt Butterfly's child.
Butterfly understands the truth. She takes a dagger inherited from her father who used it to commit seppuku on the emperor's order. Then she says goodby to her son and commits suicide in traditional Japanese manner.