When, in 1900, Giacomo Puccini attended David Belasco’s play "Madame Butterfly" in London, he found it to be ideal material for an opera. Although the composer only had a smattering of English, the tragic fate of the Japanese geisha Cio Cio San and Belasco’s amazing evocation of the Far East both made a deep impression on him.
The background to the story, which is based on fact, is the opening of the Japanese harbours to the American navy around the middle of the nineteenth century.
The subtle staging by Robert Carsen shows the irreconcilability of two cultures and Butterfly’s evolution from child-bride to fully mature, adult wife.
Future opera productions