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Opéra de Québec
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Québec (Québec) G1R 3B4
Who would have thought, given the hostile reception meted out to Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at its Milan premiere in 1904, that it would become one of the world’s most beloved operas? The tragic tale of Cio-Cio-San (Madame Butterfly) is well known—the innocent young geisha who naïvely falls for and marries Pinkerton, a young officer in the US navy who wants nothing more than a fling and quickly abandons her. Three years later, she continues to await her love’s return and has rejected other marriage proposals. Pinkerton, who unknowingly left her pregnant, is returning with his “real American bride.” The penny finally drops for Cio-Cio-San when the two of them appear to take her child away, and she chooses to die “with honour” rather than live on in shame. The opera’s magnificent arias and depiction of traditional Japanese customs and values have made it a favourite with audiences across the ages, while Pinkerton’s moral vacuity remains as shocking as ever.
For this production of Madama Butterfly, the company has brought in director François Racine, a long-time Opéra de Québec collaborator. He’s a leading figure of the lyric stage, so expect a production that measures up to the brilliance of Puccini’s score. And music director Clelia Cafiero certainly knows her way around that score. Opéra de Québec is thrilled to welcome this rising star, who is also the first woman to direct one of the company’s regular-season productions.
Original Italian version with French surtitles.
With the Orchestre symphonique de Québec and the Opéra de Québec chorus.