The opera that inspired a Broadway smash hit
Anthony Minghella's breathtakingly beautiful and powerfully dramatic production returns, with the lead roles of Cio-Cio San shared by Hui He and Ermonela Jaho, and the cruel Pinkerton sung by Roberto Aronica and Luis Chapa. This work is widely known as the opera that inspired the Broadway musical Miss Saigon; the tragic story sees a young Japanese bride abandoned by her American husband for a new wife back home.
What is it about?
The title character Madama Butterfly or, Cio-Cio San to her friends - is a young Japanese geisha who naively believes her marital arrangement with a visiting American naval officer is a loving and permanent marriage. One of the most defining and tragic roles in contemporary opera, the story looks behind the Orientalism and casual imperialism to the people affected directly by the actions of Pinkerton and his callous attitude towards his young bride, who he leaves with their child, only to return three years later with a new, American-born wife. Rather than live in shame, Cio-Cio San chooses to die with honor, committing suicide with the very same knife used by her father, but not before shielding her son's eyes first.
One of the most and stirring and tearjerking musical pieces in the opera is the iconic Humming Chorus, which takes place off-stage as Butterfly, her son, and her maid Suzuki start the long vigil through the night as they wait for Pinkerton's ship to dock at Nagasaki.