Giacomo Puccini's Madama Butterfly with a libretto by Giuseppe Giacosa and Luigi Illica, was not well-received on its premiere in Milan's legendary La Scala in 1904 -- the reasons being far too numerous and open to debate to strangle our flow here -- but Puccini, a man director Marc Astafan (making his Florida Grand Opera debut) calls "the Great Manipulator," revised the troublesome areas and when the production returned three months later it became a huge success. Puccini's resume is untouchable, from Turandot, La bohème and Tosca, which was performed last season by the FGO with a command performance by Jouvanca Jean-Baptiste, being his most well-known.
Courtesy of Brittany Mazzurco, Florida Grand Opera
The opera has endured as one of the world's most beloved for a number of reasons that go beyond the obvious cultural clash of its main protagonists, 15-year-old Cio-Cio-San and her arranged American husband Lt. B.F. Pinkerton. Madama Butterfly is at heart a simple tale with many tendrils. The FGO has opened their 74th season in grand fashion, with solid stage work and symbiotic performances from the singers that further strengthen an already solid work.More »