Set in Meiji period Nagasaki and punctuated with vibrant melodies such as the well-known aria "Un bel dì, vedremo", Puccini's Madama Butterfly is known and loved around the world. The Japan depicted by Puccini, who had never actually set foot in the country, feels real and we can only marvel at his deep insight and imagination. The NNTT production directed by KURIYAMA Tamiya casts a sharp eye on the social background of the story, especially Japan's relationship with America at the time. No matter how many times you have seen it, you will find something new in this outstanding production.
The title role will be performed by NAKAMURA Eri, whose career has taken her from the NNT Opera Studio to the world stage. She has gone from strength to strength, mesmerising audiences with her dramatic expression and honed technique. Opera fans the world over are looking forward to her appearance at the Opera Palace in this highly anticipated role. Alongside NAKAMURA's Cho-cho-san, two gifted Italian singers will perform Americans; Luciano GANCI in the role of Pinkerton and Andrea BORGHINI in the role of Sharpless. Expectations are high for conductor SHIMONO Tatsuya returns to the podium following his success with Silence in 2015.
Set in Meiji-period Nagasaki. US naval officer Lieutenant Pinkerton, who is about to take a young Japanese bride, is inspecting a house he is leasing from Goro, a marriage broker. He boasts that he can terminate the lease and marriage any time, but the American consul Sharpless, who knows that the bride is serious about the marriage, is worried about his frivolous attitude.
The procession of the bride and her friends arrives. Cio-Cio-San, who sings that she is the happiest girl in the world, admits that she is fifteen. Her family was once wealthy but her father was forced to commit suicide, and she now earns her living as a geisha. The ceremony is interrupted by her uncle Bonzo, a Buddhist priest, who denounces her for abandoning her faith. Festivities over, the couple retreat and enjoy the wedding night.
Three years have passed since Pinkerton has left for America. Cio-Cio-San awaits his return, believing his promise that he would come again 'when the robins build their nests'. Sharpless and Goro advise her to remarry, but she declines, as she has had a son by Pinkerton in his absence. Sharpless, who knows that Pinkerton has wed an American wife, leaves in shock. Eventually, Pinkerton's ship arrives in Nagasaki harbor. Cio-Cio-San and Suzuki, her loyal maid, decorate the house with flowers and await his arrival but he doesn't appear.
As Cio-Cio-San rests, Sharpless brings Pinkerton and Kate, Pinkerton's new wife, and Suzuki receives them. Pinkerton is full of remorse and runs from the scene. Cio-Cio-San sees Kate instead of Pinkerton and she agrees to give up her child so he could be brought up in America. She takes a final farewell of her child and stabs herself with her father's dagger, choosing "to die with honor rather than live in shame". Pinkerton is heard desperately calling her name.