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Madama ButterflyNew Production

This listing is in the past
OpernhausFalkenstrasse 1, Zürich, 8008, Switzerland
2017 December 10 19:00, December 14 19:30, December 17 14:00, December 20 19:00, December 23 19:00, December 26 14:00, December 29 19:30, 2018 January 01 19:00, January 05 19:00, January 07 20:00, January 10 19:00
Zurich Opera
Daniele RustioniConductor
Ted HuffmanDirector
Michael LevineSet Designer
Annemarie WoodsCostume Designer
Svetlana AksenovaSopranoCio-Cio-San (Madama Butterfly)
Judith SchmidMezzo-sopranoSuzuki
Saimir PirguTenorPinkerton
Brian MulliganBaritoneSharpless
Ildo SongBassThe Bonze
Huw Montague RendallBaritonePrince Yamadori
Martin ZyssetTenorGoro
Stanislav VorobyovBaritoneThe Imperial Commissioner
Natalia TanasiiSopranoKate Pinkerton
Philharmonia Zürich
Zurich Opera Chorus

The American naval officer Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton is temporarily stationed in Nagasaki, Japan. Before he marries the 15-year-old geisha Cio-Cio-San, he raises his whisky glass to the day he will “properly” marry an American woman. The liaison with the pretty Japanese “doll” is in fact nothing more to him than an affair for the duration of his stay abroad. After Pinkerton returns to America, Cio-Cio-San spends three years waiting for his return – in vain. When she learns that he has married another woman in his homeland and wishes to take away their child with him, there is only one way out for her…

After the successes of La bohème and Tosca, with this subject matter Giacomo Puccini leaves European soil for the first time and confronts western and eastern mentalities with one another. In his hitherto most ambitious score, fragile, exotic tonal colours contrast with a raw, western musical style. However, the true conflict of this “Japanese tragedy” lies less in the clash of cultures than in the incompatibility of the principles of a constant, profoundly loving woman with the attitudes of an unfaithful man who is controlled by his urges. Puccini, himself a notorious cheater, was familiar with this dilemma, and he succeeded in transforming the apparently banal conflict into an opera of great emotional power.

This new production will be staged by the young American director Ted Huffman. Svetlana Aksenova can be heard in the title role for the first time in Zurich. The tenor Saimir Pirgu, already very well-known for his performance in our production of Rigoletto, returns to the Opera House to début in the role of Pinkerton. After Rossini’s Il viaggio a Reims, Daniele Rustioni will once again be conducting the Philharmonia Zurich for another new production of a work from the Italian repertoire.

Svetlana Aksenova (Cio-Cio-San) © Toni Suter | T+T Fotografie
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