Opera Tickets Italy

    Madama Butterfly, Opera by G. Puccini

    Madama Butterfly, Opera by G. Puccini

    On a summer’s evening in 1900, Giacomo Puccini saw David Belasco’s play ‘Madame Butterfly: A Tragedy of Japan’ while visiting London. The intense melodramatic charge of the story and the heart-breaking fate of its heroine proved magnetic to the maestro, who was a notorious lover of tormented female characters. Puccini worked intensely on the project all the way up to its original premiere at Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 17 February 1904. Due to the haste and last-minute changes, the cast was under-rehearsed, and the opera did not land well with critics or audiences. Not giving up on his Madama Butterfly, the composer revised the score and allowed ample preparation time until the second premiere in Brescia on 28 May that same year. This time the performance went without a hitch. The emotional music of Puccini and tragic story of the naïve and beautiful Japanese belle feel right at home on the storied stage of Arena di Verona this season. After the escapade to the Far East, your ticket offers you the possibility to dive back into European history with an exciting sightseeing train tour through Verona.

    To bring the story of Belasco’s Madame Butterfly to the opera stage, Puccini called on his faithful collaborators Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa to produce an Italian libretto. The plot focuses on the young and beautiful Japanese girl Cio-Cio-San (‘cho-cho’ is the Japanese word for ‘butterfly’) and her ill-conceived marriage to U.S. Naval Lieutenant Pinkerton. While her feelings are profound and true, to him she is nothing but an adventure during his tenure overseas. They exchange wedding vows and consummate their marriage; shortly after, Pinkerton must return to the States. Cio-Cio-San is left alone, expecting a child and convinced that her American husband will return soon. Years go by without a sign from the U.S. Lieutenant, yet the Japanese Butterfly’s love does not fade. When Pinkerton finally re-emerges, however, their reunion is not at all what she has been imagining.

    In telling the tragic story of the sweet and vulnerable Cio-Cio-San, Puccini crafted some of his most tender and heart-wrenching melodies. Her stand-out aria ‘Un bel di, vedremo’ is a pinnacle in the soprano repertoire and demonstrates Puccini’s impeccable sense for musical nuance, dynamics, and characterisation. The orchestration is also deeply moving and effective, incorporating U.S.-American and Japanese motifs, refracted through the maestro’s unique melodic lens.

    On top of the emotional trip to the Far East with Madama Butterfly, you can also enjoy a sightseeing tour of Verona on the same day as the performance or one day before or afterwards. Aboard a mini-train, or ‘trenino’, departing from Piazza Brà, you can collect many historical impressions of the City of Love. From the Roman gates and arches to the Medieval castles, like the Castelvecchio, and churches, like the Cathedral of Verona, to the later religious buildings, like the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Lourdes and the Basilica di Sant’Anastasia, as well as the Castel San Pietro and the many sites along the Adige River, the 25-minute sightseeing round is an excellent introduction to Verona’s storied past.

    image Arena di Verona / Per gentile concessione Fondazione Arena di Verona / Foto Tabocchini Gironella