MADAMA BUTTERFLY at The Göteborg Opera

Yoshi Oïda directs Puccini’s heartrendingly
beautiful opera, a Japanese
tragedy of cultural collisions and
human relations against a backdrop of
international power plays.
Puccini’s own favourite work, about two
lovers from different continents, is a tragedy of
cultural stereotyping and misunderstandings.
Madama Butterfly is presented in a new,
exciting production by the celebrated Japanese
director Yoshi Oïda, a long-time collaborator
with the theatre and film director Peter Brook.
In Japan, the American naval officer
Pinkerton purchases a young wife for himself
– the geisha Madama Butterfly. It is all a
game to him, but Cio-Cio San, as the geisha
is really called, takes her role as an American
wife very seriously. She severs all ties to her
own culture and background. When their son
is born, Pinkerton’s game becomes a matter
of life and death. The passion in the music is
heightened by the cruelty of the story. There
are few who remain unaffected by Puccini’s
excruciatingly beautiful composition.
Paris-based Yoshi Oïda’s first production
of Madama Butterfly will be an interpretation
which brings a solid Japanese sense of
authenticity. This will be the first time that
the early Brescia version of the piece will be
performed in Sweden – a less sentimental
version, more acrimonious in its social
criticism and with sharper contrasts.
The experienced Italian conductor Manlio
Benzi will be responsible for bringing Puccini’s
well known score to life once more – for the
first time in Gothenburg for eleven years.
The demanding title role will be shared by
two Korean sopranos, both on the brink of
international careers: Jung Nan Yoon and
Karah Son.