Sung in Italian
Leading soprano Hui He has the heartbreaking title role of the doomed geisha, with tenor Andrea Carè as the American naval officer who abandons her. The great Plácido Domingo makes his role debut as Sharpless. Pier Giorgio Morandi is on the podium for Anthony Minghella’s sweeping production, a perennial audience favourite.
A co-production of the Metropolitan Opera, English National Opera, and the Lithuanian National Opera.
World premiere: Teatro alla Scala, Milan, 1904. Met premiere: February 11, 1907. The title character of Madama Butterfly—a young Japanese geisha who clings to the belief that her arrangement with a visiting American naval officer is a loving and permanent marriage—is one of the defining roles in opera. The story triggers ideas about cultural and sexual imperialism for people far removed from the opera house, and film, Broadway, and popular culture in general have riffed endlessly on it. The lyric beauty of Puccini’s score, especially the music for the thoroughly believable lead role, has made Butterfly timeless.