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Madame Butterfly

Madame Butterfly

Giacomo Puccini
Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacoza based on the play by David Belasco and the novel “Geisha” by John Luther Long

The duration of the performance with intermission: 2 hours and 50 minutes


Creative team

Conductor - Honored Artist of Ukraine Igor Chernetski
Director – Anatol Preissler (Austria)
Choirmaster  - Valery Regrut
Set Designer – Karel Spanhak (Netherlands)
Costume Designer – Ulli Kremer (Germany)
Plastics – Antonin Comestaz (France)
Light Designers - Vyacheslav Usherenko, David Albert (Germany)

SYNOPSIS

 Act I
The action takes place in Nagasaki (Japan) at the end of the nineteenth century...
Pinkerton, Lieutenant in the US Navy decides to marry a young Japanese geisha Cio-Cio-san, nicknamed Butterfly. Goro, a professional Japanese matchmaker, shows him a house which has been rented for a future couple.

The American Consul Sharpless, Pinkerton's friend, arrives at the ceremony. During their conversation the groom's cynical intentions are revealed: in America his marriage with a Japanese woman will not be legal, so that he can consider himself free from this marriage. Sharpless is alarmed at such a cynical position and warns Pinkerton that Cio-Cio-san is too young, innocent and sincere. She passionately loves her future husband and is ready to convert to Christianity and severs ties with the family. Pinkerton does not want to hear the arguments, and he
even offers a toast to the day when he truly marries in his motherland.
There are voices of Cio-Cio-san and her friends. The girl tells her beloved about her life: her father was a noble samurai, but poverty forced the girl to become a geisha. The marriage ceremony, at which the imperial commissioner is present, begins. It is interrupted by an angry voice of the Bonze, Cio-Cio-san’s Uncle, who curses his niece because she has denied her faith. Being abandoned by the relatives, the girl cries. Pinkerton reassures her tenderly.

Act II
Scene 1
Three years later. Cio-Cio-San waits for Pinkerton, who went to America after the marriage. Having been abandoned by the husband and relatives, she lives in the house together with her maid and a little son; however, Pinkerton still does not know about his existence.
Suzuki prays to the gods to relieve the woman from need and distress, she also warns Butterfly that foreign men seldom return to their Japanese wives. But Cio-Cio-san ardently protects her beloved, she is sure that Pinkerton will return.
At the request of Pinkerton, Sharpless comes to prepare Cio-Cio-san for the news: he married an American woman. Goro who aggressively woos Cio-Cio-san for rich Prince Yamadori interrupts their conversation. Without thinking Butterfly refuses him.
The consul is trying to read Cio-Cio-san a letter from Pinkerton, but when she hears that the husband is alive and well and should soon arrive in Nagasaki, she does not allow him to read it up to the end. But Sharpless strongly advises the woman to accept Yamadori’s proposition and hints that Pinkerton may not return.
However, faith of the young woman is unshaken. She tells the consul that she has a son. She is sure that as soon as Pinkerton learns it he will come back. Sharpless promises to inform Pinkerton about the child. A cannon shot is heard – an American ship with Pinkerton on board enters the port.
In a joyful anticipation Cio-Cio-San decorates the house with flowers together with the maid.

Scene 2
The night has passed. Cio-Cio-San’s expectations to meet her beloved have not come true. Tired, she cradles the baby and falls asleep.
Pinkerton arrives with his new wife Kate and the consul. Sharpless reveals the truth to Suzuki and asks to persuade Butterfly to give the child to be raised by his father. Having learned from Suzuki how Butterfly waited for her husband, decorated the house with flowers, an agitated and confused Pinkerton leaves the house. Hearing the voices, Cio-Cio-San rushes out of her room. Seeing Kate and the consul, the Japanese woman begins to realize her husband’s adultery and that they have come for her son. Sharpless advises Cio-Cio-san to give the boy. Butterfly asks Pinkerton to come and take the son. When everyone goes away, Butterfly is ready to die. Being unable to survive the treason, she gently takes farewell of her son and kills herself.

Cast

    • Cio-Cio-San (soprano) – Hiroko Morita, Ganna Litvinova, Yuliya Tereshchuk
    • Pinkerton, Lieutenant in the United States Navy (tenor) – Domenico Menini, Oleg
    • Zlakoman, Eduard Martynyuk, Olexandr Shulz
    • SUZUKI, her maid (mezzo-soprano) – Honoured Artist of Ukraine Tetiana Spaska,
    • Honoured Artist of Ukraine Olena Starodubtseva, Anastasiya Martynyuk,
    • Kateryna Tsymbalyuk
    • Sharpless, the American consul in Nagasaki (baritone) – Honoured Artist of
    • Ukraine Viktor Mityushkin, Oleksandr Stryuk
    • Goro, a matchmaker (tenor) – Oleksandr Prokopovych, Pavlo Smyrnov
    • Prince Yamadori (baritone) – Oleksiy Gruzin, Yuriy Dudar, Bogdan Panchenko
    • The Bonze (bass) – People's Artist of Ukraine Vasyl Navrotskyy, Viktor
    • Shevchenko, Sergiy Uzun;
    • Kate, Pinkerton's wife (mezzo-soprano) – Iryna Repetiy, Taisiya Shafranska
    • Commissioner (baritone / bass) – Yuriy Dudar, Bogdan Panchenko, Dmytro Sebov
       
    • Choir, orchestra of the theatre
    • Conductors – Honoured Artist of Ukraine Igor Chernetski, Honoured Artist of Ukraine Igor Shavruk, Vitaliy Kovalchuk

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November, 2019

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