Salmar to screen HD Live at the Met’s Madama Butterfly

Performance to play Salmon Arm screen on Nov. 9

Gabriele Klein

Contributor

Anthony Minghella’s sweeping production, Madama Butterfly, is next in line for the 2019/2020 HD Live at at the Met series, showing at the Salmar Classic.

Soprano Hui He takes on the heartbreaking title role of the doomed geisha, with tenor Andrea Carè as the American naval officer who abandons her. Paulo Szot is Sharpless alongside Elizabeth DeShong as Suzuki. Pier Giorgio Morandi is on the podium in this perennial audience favourite.

The world premiere was at Teatro alla Scala, Milan, in 1904, with the Met premiere on Feb. 11, 1907. The title character of Madama Butterfly is one of the defining roles in opera. It is the story of a young Japanese geisha who clings to the belief that her arrangement with a visiting American naval officer is a loving and permanent marriage. 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. Temporary marriages for foreign sailors were not unusual. The story of Butterfly has been widely adapted in film, Broadway and popular culture.

Read more: ‘Unforgettable, irresistible’ soprano featured in HD Live at Met’s Manon

Read more: Coming soon: Soap opera provides common ground in Tel Aviv on Fire

Giacomo Puccini (1858 – 1924) was immensely popular in his own lifetime, and his mature works remain staples for most of the world’s opera companies. The librettists were Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica who had also collaborated with Puccini on Tosca and La Boheme.

With subtle colouring’s throughout, Puccini achieved a new level of sophistication with his use of the orchestra in this score. But the opera rests squarely on the performer who sings Cio-Cio San who is on stage for most of the time. She must convey an astounding array of emotions and characteristics and is the only character that experiences true and tragic development. The lyric beauty of Puccini’s score, especially the music for the thoroughly believable lead role, has made Butterfly timeless.

Madama Butterfly plays Nov. 9 at the Salmar Classic. It begins at 9:55 a.m. and runs for three hours and 32 minutes.

The HD live at the Met presentation of Manon plays Oct. 26 at the Classic. Run time is four hours, 12 minutes.


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