Opera Madama Butterfly

Giacomo Puccini

“Madama Butterfly”

Opera in three acts

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Libretto by Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa

based on David Belasco’s drama “Geisha”

Premiere performance took place on February 17, 1904 at La Scala

The premiere took place at the Astana Opera on 15, 16 April 2016

Music Director and Conductor – Alan Buribayev, Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan

Stage Director – Lorenzo Amato (Italy)

Director – Natalya Kagadiy

Set Designer – Ezio Frigerio (Italy)

Assistant Set Designer – Riccardo Massironi (Italy)

Costume Designer – Franca Squarciapino (Italy)

Assistant Costume Designer – Assel Dosmuratova

Costume Consultant – Junko Kamohara (Japan)

Lighting Designer – Vincenzo Raponi (Italy)

Choirmaster – Yerzhan Dautov, Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan

A performance with two intermissions

Running time: 2 hours 50 minutes

Performed in Italian

(accompanied by synchronised Kazakh and Russian supertitles)

ROLES AND PERFORMERS

Madama Butterfly – Zhannat Baktay, Honoured Artist of Kazakhstan /

Zhupar Gabdullina / Aigul Niyazova, Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan /

Bibigul Zhanuzak, Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan

Pinkerton – Fabio Armiliato (Italy) /

Medet Chotabayev, Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan / Meir Baineshov

Suzuki – Dina Khamzina, Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan / Gulzhanat Sapakova

Kate Pinkerton – Tatyana Vitsinskaya / Saltanat Muratbekova

Sharpless – Talgat Mussabayev, Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan /

Sundet Baigozhin, Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan

Goro – Ramzat Balakishiyev / Yerulan Kamel

Prince Yamadori – Talgat Galeyev / Kazbek Dosmukhambetov

The Bonze – Bolat Yessimkhanov / Zhanat Shybykbayev, Honoured Worker of Kazakhstan / Artur Kaipkulov, Honoured Artist of Bashkortostan

The Commissioner – Umerzhan Kadyrov / Nurlybek Kosparmakov

Yakuside – Khaidar Mustapin / Umerzhan Kadyrov

The Official Registrar – Samat Zharylkasynov

The aunt – Yelena Ganzha

Cio-Cio-san’s mother – Madina Islamova

The cousin – Assem Sembina

Dolore, Cio-Cio-san’s son – Nikita Chainikov

ORCHESTRA, CHORUS AND EXTRAS OF THE ASTANA OPERA HOUSE

SYNOPSIS

Act I

The early twentieth century. Lieutenant Pinkerton, a U.S. Naval officer, is preparing for the wedding with the fifteen-year-old geisha Cio-Cio-san, whom he ‘has acquired’ through services of Goro, a professional matchmaker.

Pinkerton is proud of freedom of morals, and in the presence of the American Consul Sharpless mockingly tells about a young girl who belongs to him, and whom he is marrying under Japanese laws, that is, with the right to renounce her at any moment to get married to a ‘real’ American bride.

Cio-Cio-san is madly in love with Pinkerton, and suffers the curse of her uncle, a Bonze, who accuses her of denial of faith and traditions of the ancestors. The wedding ceremony is underway. Intoxicated with passion Pinkerton marries Cio-Cio-san, whom everyone calls Madama Butterfly.

INTERMISSION

Act II

Having promised to return in the spring, Pinkerton leaves. Butterfly’s maid Suzuki does not believe him, and Butterfly is trustfully waiting for her lover.

At this time, Pinkerton marries the American girl Kate and writes to Sharpless to prepare Cio-Cio-san to meet the harsh realities when he arrives with his wife.

Meanwhile Goro offers new husbands to Butterfly. Yamadori, a rich aristocrat, is among them. However, Butterfly rejects them, remaining faithful to Pinkerton, and shows to the Consul her son she gave birth to while being married to the American lieutenant, who knows nothing about the child.

An American ship is arriving in the harbour, Butterfly sees it from afar, and happily prepares to meet the one whom she considers her husband. She persuades Suzuki to arrange everything for the reception of the dear guest, decorates the house with flowers, puts a wedding dress on and looks forward to meeting her husband.

INTERMISSION

Act IІІ

In vain, Butterfly waited all night. Pinkerton and Kate arrive declaring that they will take the child with them. He looks around the house where he once lived with Cio-Cio-san, and with a mixture of tenderness, regret and irritation, leaves. Sharpless advises Cio-Cio-san to give her child to the Pinkertons; in tears, she agrees. Devastated, ready to lose her life, she gives her child a hug good-bye and stabs herself with a dagger. Pinkerton returns to see Cio-Cio-san, but his remorse has come far too late.

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