An exotic and sensual poem of the soul… the opera Puccini considered to be his “most sincere and evocative” is brought to life, staged by renowned Quebec director François Racine.

Preview

An exotic and sensual poem of the soul… the opera Puccini considered to be his “most sincere and evocative” is brought to life, staged by renowned Quebec director François Racine.

  • 6:30 PMPreopera
  • 7:30 PMOpera
Duration: 
2:35 hrs
Intermission: 
1

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Composer

Giacomo Puccini  >

Puccini is the most popular Italian opera composer after Verdi. Born to a long line of composers and organists, he lost his father at the age of five. His musical training was taken over by his uncle, and at 16, he entered the Istituto Musicale Pacini, where he composed his first works.

Synopsis

  • Act 1 – Outside a house in Nagasaki

    United States Navy Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton visits the house he has purchased from Goro, a marriage broker, who has also organized a Japanese-style marriage arrangement with young Cio-Cio-San, also called Butterfly. Pinkerton is joined by Sharpless, the American Consul, to whom he explains his carefree philosophy: he is a navy man roaming the world in search of pleasure. Butterfly enters, singing joyously. She tells Pinkerton that she intends to give up her ancestors’ religion and embrace his. Butterfly’s uncle bursts upon the scene, interrupting the marriage ceremony and cursing the young girl for having renounced her faith. Furious, Pinkerton orders everyone to leave. Alone, the couple sings a passionate love duet.

  • Act 2 – Inside Butterfly’s house

    Three years have gone by and Butterfly still hopes for her husband’s return. The maid, Suzuki, shows Butterfly how little money is left, but Butterfly tells her to have faith: one fine day, Pinkerton’s ship will appear on the horizon. Sharpless arrives with a letter from Pinkerton but, before he can read it to Butterfly, Goro brings in the latest in a long line of suitors for Butterfly’s hand — Prince Yamadori. Steadfast, Cio-Cio-San dismisses them both. Sharpless again starts to read the letter, trying to get Butterfly to accept the hard facts, but she insists that as soon as Pinkerton knows of the existence of their son, he will come back. Moved by her devotion, Sharpless leaves, lacking the heart to tell her that the Lieutenant has re-married. The report of a cannon is heard; it is Pinkerton’s ship entering the harbour. Delirious with joy, Butterfly orders Suzuki to help her decorate the house with blossoms.

  • Act 3 – Inside Butterfly’s house

    Butterfly has waited all night. Suzuki insists that Butterfly rest. Before long, Sharpless, Pinkerton, and his new wife, Kate, enter. Suzuki soon realizes who the American woman is, and agrees to break the news to Butterfly. Pinkerton does not have the courage to face the woman he betrayed but wants to ensure a good future for his child. Overcome with remorse, he rushes away. Butterfly appears and, upon seeing Kate, soon guesses the truth. She agrees to give up her child on the condition that Pinkerton will return for him. Then, sending Suzuki away, Butterfly takes her father’s dagger and bids farewell to her son. She then stabs herself and dies as Pinkerton returns, calling her name.

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