About this Recording
100110 -

Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924)

Madam Butterfly, opera in three acts
Libretto: Luigi Illica and Giuseppe Giacosa, based on David Belasco

From the Teatro Alla Scala 1986
Cast: Yasuko Hayashi, Hak-Nam Kim, Peter Dvorsky, Giorgio Zancanaro
Chorus and Ballet of Teatro Alla Scala, Milan/ Conductor: Lorin Maazel, Stage Director: Keita Asari

Running Time: 144 min
Menu languages: D, GB, F, SP
Subtitle languages: D, GB
Sound Format: PCM Stereo
Picture Format: 4:3
Region Code: 2,5,6
Sel. No. 100 110 PAL

Giacomo Puccini, the most significant Italian opera composer to follow in the footsteps of Giuseppe Verdi, discovered the foundation for Madam Butterfly in London where he had traveled for the first performance of his Tosca in June 1900. Puccini immediately recognized the moving effect of the tragic single-act drama, and towards the end of the year he decided to use it as the basis for an opera. (The plot of the opera is set "in Nagasaki around 1900".) A car accident in February 1903 prevented the composer from working for a considerable period; however, he noted the completion of "Butterfly" on 28 December. The first performance at Milan's Scala nearly two months later (17 February 1904) belongs among operatic history's great premiere scandals. Puccini withdrew the work, divided its two acts into three, added the tenor aria "Addio fiorito asil", and abbreviated parts. Performances in Brescia (May 1904), Paris (1906) and Berlin (1907) marked the work's rise to success, which belongs to a tradition of operas based on exhilarating, exotic, oriental themes. The Scala production of 1986 is characterized by an authentic Far Eastern flair. The Japanese director Keita Asari had at his disposal a decor and costumes team and two exceptional vocalists to perform the main roles from Asia.

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